Today, the European Commission's Climate Strategy 2050 misses the opportunity to set clear targets for EU governments to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and keep global temperature rises under 1.5c. While, it is welcome that the European Commission is matching its obligation as part of the Paris Agreement to come out with a long-term strategy before 2020, none of the eight scenarios documented reflect any sense of urgency. The Strategy shows all the benefits more ambitious climate policy will bring to our society, but at the same time proposes business-as-usual for the next decade.
Bas Eickhout, climate spokesperson for the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, comments:
"Europe should be the torchbearer for the green transition, but instead the Commission will go to UN climate talks Katowice with an underwhelming and unambitious document. This Strategy is a wasted opportunity to present clear climate targets towards a CO2-free economy, climate protection, green jobs and for keeping global warming under to 1.5c.
"As the IPCC report shows, every half a degree matters, the actions we take right now are vital to avoid climate catastrophe. Yet, the European Commission is kicking the can down the road by postponing implementation until 2030 and avoiding difficult conversations with certain Member States out of political convenience. Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete is limiting himself to moderating and presenting proposals when urgent and strong leadership is needed."
In October the European Parliament voted on a resolution calling for EU governments and the European Commission to increase the reduction of CO2 emissions from 40 percent to 55 percent by the year 2030 compared to the year 1990. From 3 to 14 December at the UN climate summit in Katowice, Poland, the heads of state and government will negotiate how they can achieve the Paris climate target of less than 1.5 degrees global warming. The recent UN IPCC climate report calls on governments to do far more in order to achieve the Paris climate target and avoid climate catastrophe.
A delegation of Greens/EFA MEPs, including Bas Eickhout, will attend the COP24 in Katowice. Please get in contact should you wish to arrange interviews