MEPs call for stepping up on EU climate commitments

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MEPs call for stepping up on EU climate commitmentsMEPs said today that the impact of a 2°C rise would bring “profound, likely irreversible consequences” and advocate pursuing the 1.5°C target instead, calling for a 55% emission reduction by 2030.

Parliament said that “all EU policies should be closely aligned with the Paris Agreement’s long-term goals.

MEPs stressed that the current commitments taken by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) parties “would limit global warming only to a temperature rise of about 3.2°C and would not even come close to 2°C,” in a resolution on the COP24 climate change conference in Katowice. The resolution was adopted with 239 votes to 145 and 23 abstentions.

“The technological solutions needed are available and increasingly cost competitive. All EU policies should be closely aligned with the Paris Agreement’s long-term goals,” MEPs say.

Parliament also called on all Parties, including the EU, to update their contributions by 2020 in order to close the remaining gap towards the Paris goal.

“While the agreement reached between the Parliament and the Council to raise targets for renewables and energy efficiency will result in a reduction of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions of more than 45% by 2030, the EU should aim for a reduction of 55% by 2030.” said MEPs.

MEPs added that they regret that in non-EU countries, the debate on increasing their contributions has only just begun.

They also called on the European Commission and member states to prepare contributions to reduce GHG emissions by 2020, to be presented at the pre-2020 stocktake at COP24.

“Should other major economies fail to make comparable commitments, it will be necessary to maintain carbon leakage provisions, in order to ensure the global competitiveness of European industry,” say MEPs.

The MEPs also pointed out that the EU’s budget should also be coherent with its international commitments, and the post-2020 long-term budget should have climate and energy targets at its heart, they say.

“The share of climate-related spending should be increased from 20% to 30% as soon as possible, and all remaining spending should be Paris-compliant and not counter-productive to climate efforts,” they said.

The European Union should also set up a dedicated and automatic EU public finance mechanism providing additional and adequate support towards the EU’s fair share in the delivery of the 100 billion dollar international climate finance goal, say MEPs.

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