BRUSSELS, Jan. 15, 2020 (Press Release) -The European Parliament has challenged governments and the European Commission to accelerate EU climate action, following a vote in Strasbourg about the European Green Deal.
The Parliament, the European Commission and national governments are gearing up for a major political fight in what promises to be a defining year in the global effort to tackle the climate crisis.
In a wide-ranging resolution that builds on measures proposed by the Commission under the European Green Deal in December 2019, the Parliament said the EU should adopt an enhanced emission reduction target for 2030 and an “intermediate” target for 2040, with the aim of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The Parliament wants the Commission to include these targets when it tables a new draft climate law in March. Setting targets under the law would prevent single governments from blocking an EU agreement. Poland has threatened to scupper a new 2030 target, after obstructing a deal for an EU-wide climate-neutrality objective for over a year.
The Parliament underlined the need for a speedy agreement to raise the current 2030 target in line with climate science and the Paris climate agreement, “well ahead” of a planned EU-China summit in September and a UN climate conference in November.
Greenpeace EU climate policy adviser Sebastian Mang said: “Last year, the Parliament declared a climate emergency – now it wants to see real progress, as do millions of people across the EU. Governments make a song and dance about the climate emergency, but are delaying, weakening or even blocking EU-wide commitments when it comes to the crunch. To encourage other countries to do their part to tackle climate breakdown, the EU needs to agree a stronger 2030 target well ahead of UN climate talks later this year.”
In order to increase the chances of limiting global heating to 1.5°C and avoiding full-blown climate breakdown, Greenpeace is calling on the EU to cut emissions by at least 65% in 2030 (compared to 1990) and achieve climate neutrality in 2040. The Parliament supports a 55% reduction in emissions by 2030, while the EU is currently committed to a 40% reduction.
Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties.