A welcome and necessary step but now we need to see real action
European Green Deal
Today, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented the "European Green Deal" in the European Parliament. The European Green Deal contains a raft of measures aimed at tackling the climate emergency.
Ska Keller, President of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament:
"The climate emergency calls for immediate action and we welcome that the European Commission has come out with plans for a Green Deal so quickly. However, we will scrutinise carefully what's on the table and how it will be implemented, as that's what counts. The climate cannot be saved by nice headlines alone. It needs real action and that we need to see next.
"The Green Deal has serious shortcomings when it comes to agricultural funds and trade policy and these need to be addressed for a truly ambitious climate policy. The Green Deal needs clear and binding measures that limit global warming to 1.5c, herald the phase-out of fossil fuels, and protect biodiversity.
"It's time to exclude any future fossil fuel subsidies from the EU budget so that European tax-payers are not funding climate-wrecking projects. At the European Council summit this week, governments must link the MFF to the Paris climate targets and commit to half of all EU spending on climate protection measures."
Philippe Lamberts, President of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament:
"We are delighted that the new Commission has made the climate crisis one of the major projects of this legislature and that the first major political act is to announce a European Green Deal. For the Greens/EFA group, the credibility of the Green Deal will be measured against four criteria: its effectiveness in limiting global warming to 1.5c, its contribution to reducing social inequalities, its ability to replace the neo-liberal model with a sustainable development model and, finally, its power to put finance at the service of society.
"EU governments must now follow the lead of the European Parliament and agree ambitious climate targets in this week's Council summit to show the EU is serious about action at the ongoing COP25 in Madrid. The European Union must become climate neutral by 2040 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 65% by 2030. A 55% reduction in greenhouse gases will simply not be enough, 10% will make a huge difference."
The COP26 in Glasgow next year will be the last opportunity to bring national climate protection ambitions into line with the Paris climate targets. Until then, the Member States and the Commission must deliver. The Greens/EFA group are proposing five emergency measures for the European Commission:
- Link the EU budget to the Paris climate targets and for half of the EU budget to be invested in climate action;
- Stop direct and indirect fossil subsidies at EU and Member State level by 2021 and start a socially responsible restructuring of the economy so that nobody is left behind (just transition);
- Make Member States’ access to the Just Transition Fund conditional on national fossil fuel phase-out plans for coal, oil and gas;
- Link agricultural subsidies to sustainable agriculture, which promotes climate protection and biodiversity, stops the use of pesticides and strengthens animal welfare;
- Align trade and investment agreements with third countries to the Paris climate targets.