Europe is on track for three degrees of global warming: COP27 is a wake-up call for the EU to do more

If every country would follow the EU’s ambition when it comes to tackling climate change the world would be steering towards three degrees of global warming by the end of the century. Read here why the Greens/EFA MEP Michael Bloss will be fighting for more EU climate action at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Read the Greens/EFA demands for the COP27 climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh here.

Greens/EFA MEP Michael Bloss at COP27

The Greens/EFA MEP Michael Bloss:
“At COP27 The EU needs to finally show real climate leadership to keep the 1.5 degree promise.”

COP27: Where is the EU’s climate ambition?

I often get asked what a world 3 degrees hotter would look like. I am not a climate scientist, but I listen to the experts. They say our house is on fire. We face a future of droughts, floods, and fires that we are now already witnessing.

This year, Europe experienced its worst drought in 500 years. Water levels in large rivers like the Rhine in Germany or the Po in Italy dropped so low that industrial output was threatened. The bed of the river Loire in France could be crossed by foot. Farmers had to choose which fields of crops to water and which ones to let die. Fires ripped through vast swathes of Europe, devastating communities and livelihoods. Our forests experienced a heat shock that will impact them for years to come.

Not only nature was suffering. In 2022, the EU saw 53,000 excess deaths in July from heat waves. This is the reality of a world just 1.2 degrees warmer. So what is the European Climate Commissioner Frans Timmermans doing about it? His claim that Europe is already doing enough against the climate crisis is not a good enough answer – and looking at the events this summer simply not true. In the weeks and days before the COP27 climate conference, Europe’s global climate diplomacy to promote international climate action is non-existent.  

EU climate action – where is our European Climate Commissioner?

Shortly before the 27th UN climate conference, there is no coordinated push to raise international climate ambition and stop us rocketing past 1.5 or even 2 degrees, and therefore breaching the Paris Agreement. In fact, Climate Commissioner Timmermans and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen did not even show up at the debate on the COP27 in the European Parliament last month. The self-proclaimed champions of the Green Deal have fallen silent. They should be coordinating global initiatives to fulfil the Paris Agreement. Instead there is a full-blown conflict with the Global South on liability for climate loss and damages. But without the EU showing real climate leadership, how can we win the global fight against the climate crisis? 

While the EU denies its responsibilities and financial obligations to the Global South, the situation becomes even more absurd. EU money is readily available for new oil and gas pipelines in Hungary or Spain. But when it comes to ambitious climate policy and investing in renewables, the cheapest energy supply in the world, little is put on the table.

We Europeans started the climate crisis and we are still fuelling it. And yet we continuously ignore our historical climate debt, invest in coal, oil and gas. The EU even subsidises fossil fuels in the European Union by an eye-watering €112 billion per year.  

Climate leadership at COP27 – the ideas are there, let’s act on them

A full-blown conflict with the Global South is a failure of climate leadership – and all eyes are on Europe. If Timmermans does not act, von der Leyen needs to step up. We have to foster a global coalition to stop the breach of the Paris Agreement. This requires the EU to increase its climate targets to 65 per cent emission reduction until 2030. It must say loud and clear what is already being implemented and thus put pressure on other industrialised countries to do the same.

We need more climate action – for the Global South and for the planet.
The Greens/EFA MEP Michael Bloss

The reform of the EU’s carbon market, the end of the combustion engine, the deforestation law and the ambitious renewable energy targets can already lead the EU to reduce its CO2 emissions by more than 60 per cent by the year 2030. What is missing is the European Commission’s push on the international stage, stalling a dynamic where industrialised countries put more climate action on the table. It is this decade that decides on the future of hundreds of generations to come. We do not need cowards, we need bold decision makers to save the future. 

Getting rid of fossil fuels – climate action is our security policy

Climate justice risks becoming an empty word, unless Europe understands what is at stake: We can only solve this together. The Global South should be our key allies in this fight for survival. If countries decide instead to take the same fossil fuel economic development pathway we are all doomed. The only credible way to avoid such a situation is to acknowledge our historical responsibility for the floods in Pakistan, the droughts in Kenya and the disappearance of islands due to sea level rise. Climate losses and damages are real and we need to accept the liability.    

Let’s get serious – the switch to renewable energy is also the only way to free ourselves from the fossil fuel shackles that tie us to Russia, Qatar and Kazakhstan. They have led to instability, war and now a full blown energy crisis in Europe and beyond. Climate action is within our deepest interest, it is also the security policy of the future. It is our shield to protect freedom and peace for us, future generations and everyone on this planet.

Frans Timmermans and Ursula von der Leyen need to wake up. Our future is at stake at COP27. For me, my generation and future generations will ask this question: Why did you not act when it was not too late? 

Read the Greens/EFA demands for the COP27 climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh here.