10 priority measures to save the climate
Greta Thunberg in the European Parliament
Today, Greta Thunberg, the Swedish climate activist, will address the Environmental Committee of the European Parliament from 14:00 to 15:00. As an answer to the requests of the climate movement, the Greens/EFA group presents today 10 priority measures to save the climate including measures how to finance the transition.
Bas Eickhout, climate spokesperson for the Greens/EFA group and lead candidates of the European Greens for the European Elections calls for a reduction of CO2 emissions of 65% by 2030, for the economy to switch completely to renewable energies by 2050 at the latest and for a fairer and environmental friendly tax system:
"Climate activists like Greta Thunberg are not asking for our applause, but for action. The solutions are there but the political will is missing. If the climate were a bank, the governments would have saved it long ago.
"The Greens/EFA group stands for bold actions against climate change that are in line with the Paris Agreement. We want to reduce CO2 emissions of 65% by 2030 and go carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest by shifting to 100% renewables. Transport, aviation and agriculture must become greener for a climate-friendly economy and to reach the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees."
"The climate crisis has an important social dimension because it hits the poorest people more - globally as well as in the EU. Ecological and social measures need to go hand in hand. We need a shift in our tax and financial systems. Those who pollute more, have to pay more. In the next mandate of the European Parliament we will fight for a fair carbon pricing. Before the United Nations Climate Change Conference in September this year, the EU Member States must commit themselves to strong reduction targets and assume a pioneering role worldwide for green cities, financial systems and infrastructures."
The discussion with Greta Thunberg will take place today in the Environment Committee (Room N1.4) from 2 p.m. live on the Facebook page of the Greens/EFA Group.
- The Greens/EFA group had suggested to invite her earlier this year to speak in plenary but the majority of the other groups namely EPP, ALDE and ECR were against; but finally agreed to this format. Greta's visit follows the visit of a group of 60 climate activists from the Fridays for Future movement during the first plenary session in April – on the invitation of the Greens/EFA group.
The Greens/EFA priority measures to save the climate
The goal: Step up EU’s climate ambition, by raising the EU 2030 climate target to at least 65% greenhouse gas emissions reduction, and implementing a Green New Deal to become a net-zero emission and 100% renewables-based economy well before 2050.
How do we get there?
- Stop subsidising climate change. Every year, the fossil economy enjoys at least 55 billion € of public subsidies in Europe. Taxpayers’ money needs to be invested towards the ecological transition of our economy (sustainable transport, renewable energy, energy savings, energy and resource efficiency, agro-ecology).
- Climate proof all investments in the EU now, so that every single euro invested in the future serves projects that are truly sustainable instead of being locked-in environmentally and climate damaging activities.
- Put a fair price on carbon. Through revised ETS, carbon tax and border adjustment for imported emissions, ensure that the biggest polluters, such as aviation, maritime shipping, energy producers and the heavy industry, start to pay their share in the fight against climate change. This would generate a revenue of 28bn/year.
- Deliver tax justice to shift the economic burden away from citizens and on to the polluters. Tackle broader corporate and individual income tax evasion and avoidance to improve public finance and offset economic costs to citizens and sustainable sectors. All revenues must be re-invested in common goods, such as climate and environment.
- Support a just transition that leaves no one behind and mitigate social and economic hardship that may occur during the transition away from the fossil economy. Revenues from carbon pricing must be used to supporting economically the most vulnerable regions, communities, workers (training, up-skilling) and citizens for taking part in the transformation.
- Sustainable Mobility - Fewer planes, more trains: end kerosene taxation exemption and introduce VAT on flights. Use the revenues to make trains more affordable, more frequent, better connected and more efficient, including revitalising night trains and building regional connections across the EU. Shift freight transport from road to rail and water. More sustainable urban planning for more public transport and soft mobility solutions.
7. Energy - Make citizens and communities part of the energy revolution: invest massively in the deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions, to reach 100% renewables while phasing out nuclear, coal and other fossil fuels. Tackle energy poverty and enable citizens and communities to produce, consume, store, sell and share their own energy. Refurbish the existing buildings stock to make them nearly-zero energy as soon as possible. Improve energy efficiency by 3% a year.
8. Agriculture and land use - Fund farms not factories and protect biodiversity: end factory farming, promote a pesticides-free Europe and significantly reduce the amount of livestock. Stop imports of crops responsible for massive deforestation (palm oil, soya). Grow more plants-based proteins crops in the EU. Support large reforestation programmes domestically and internationally. Restore soils and preserve wetlands as carbon sinks. More green spaces in cities to improve urban living while also ensuring better adaptation to climate change.
9. Resource efficiency and circular economy: reduce primary raw material consumption and increase resource efficiency, shifting out of the throwaway society, to become fully circular and resource sufficient by 2050. Ban planned obsolescence, adopt eco-design standards, increase durability, reusability, reparability of products including the right to repair.
- Make all EU trade deals ‘Paris-proof’ and deliver climate justice worldwide: make future and present EU trade agreements compatible with the Paris Agreement through mandatory provisions, so that they do not undercut climate objectives but contribute positively to global solidarity and climate justice.