EU finally agrees on target for 40% greenhouse emission cuts ahead of Paris climate talks

Miguel Arias Cañete, Member of the EC in charge of Climate Action and Energy, received Hakima El Haite, Moroccan Minister Delegate in charge of Environment. Meeting in the presence of Hakima El Haite, 2nd from the left, Menouar Alem, Head of Mission of Morocco to the EU, 1st from the left, and Miguel Arias Cañete, 2nd from the right (EC Audiovisual Services, 17/09/2015)

Miguel Arias Cañete, Member of the EC in charge of Climate Action and Energy, received Hakima El Haite, Moroccan Minister Delegate in charge of Environment. Meeting in the presence of Hakima El Haite, 2nd from the left, Menouar Alem, Head of Mission of Morocco to the EU, 1st from the left, and Miguel Arias Cañete, 2nd from the right (EC Audiovisual Services, 17/09/2015)

“Today’s extraordinary meeting of the Environment Council set out the EU’s position for the new global climate agreement”. Those are the words that European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete chose at the end of the Environment Council, last Friday, where the EU officially set out its position for the Paris climate conference (COP21) next December.

A “robust and binding” deal

“We are now equipped with a solid position for Paris”, commissioner Arias Cañete declared. “The EU stands united and ready to negotiate an ambitious, robust and binding global climate deal”, he also said. Indeed last Friday European Union’s ministers formally committed to a 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 over 1990 levels.

“We will settle for nothing less. President Juncker made it clear in his State of the Union speech last week that the EU is not prepared to sign just any deal. It is now imperative to step up the pace of the technical negotiations”, commissioner Arias Cañete stressed, underlining once more the crucial importance of upcoming Paris climate talks, at the end of the year. “There are just five negotiating days left before we meet in Paris and the real deal needs to start taking shape”.

EU position

Last week’s meeting became a milestone on the way to Paris even before its kick-off. Many were anticipating for an official EU position to come, loud and clear. The bloc has been broadly criticized in the past for an alleged lack of transparency and most of all unity as a front against global warming. As the main key-takeaway of last week’s meeting, it is now evident that the EU wants to showcase a new approach.

In a joint-statement at the morrow of last week’s meeting the EU now considers “crucial” to provide “a clearly defined pathway” to achieve the so-called “below 2°C objective”, meaning to maintain the increase in the global average temperature below 2°C above the pre-industrial level. Commissioner Arias Cañete said the EU goals were consistent with those UN goals, which scientists see as key to avoiding dramatic consequences, like catastrophic events and sea level rises. “Global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak by 2020 at the latest, be reduced by at least by 50% by 2050 compared to 1990 and be near zero or below by 2100”, the Commissioner added.

Finance rules

As in every measure to take, finance plays a crucial role. In their joint statement, EU ministers said it is “essential that countries should come together regularly every five years to consider and strengthen emission targets”, following the latest progresses made by science. Luxembourg’s environment minister Carole Dieschbourg, who will represent the European Council in Paris, reportedly confirmed all countries were firmly behind plans for regular 5-year reviews of global climate efforts. “This is very important if we want to have a credible agreement in Paris”, she said. “We will push on accountability and transparency which is very important for the EU,” she further added.

Environmental groups’ mild scepticism

Green groups said the EU’s environment ministers’ position last week still is not enough. The Guardian quoted Greenpeace EU energy policy adviser Jiri Jerabek saying “The EU’s position is still far from what is needed to reach an effective global deal”. The main variable – and the biggest doubt – still lies though on the unity front.

A long story

Almost one year ago, the European Union Heads of State reached an agreement on what it was welcomed as “the world’s most ambitious” target yet for cutting carbon emissions. A few hours before the agreement was reached, Poland threatened to veto the deal unless “the costs to its economy and industry were cut under a system of concessions from the EU’s carbon trading system”, as the European Sting reported at the time.

Poland’s objections

Still as of last week, Poland was one of the biggest matters of concern, we could say. The elections in the Eastern European country indeed complicated a bit the debate, as the right-wing Law and Justice party has been campaigning recently on a commitment to protect the coal industry. Many sources revealed that Poland realised it was the only player to formally object the text and thus softened its position after a few adjustments in the text.

All in all, last week’s meeting represents for sure a clear-cut step ahead of Paris’ upcoming meeting. COP21 will be a crucial moment for the fight against global warming and the EU has to play a decisive role. “With this solid position, the EU will be a deal maker in Paris, and not just a deal taker,” commissioner Arias Cañete said with no doubts, marking our biggest hope.

The last negotiating session before Paris will take place in Bonn, Germany, from 19-23 October. The 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) will take place in Paris from 30 November-11 December 2015.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Refugee crisis update: EU fails to relocate immigrants from Greece and Italy

Gender disparity in salary and promotion in medicine: still a long way to go

Financial Transaction Tax: More money for future bank bailouts?

MEPs propose measures to combat mobbing and sexual harassment

The EU Parliament endorses tax on financial transactions

Camino de Santiago – a global community on our doorstep

Fighting for minds of youth in Latvia

EU-US to miss 2015 deadline and even lose Germany’s support in TTIP’s darkest week yet

Mental Health Policy, a significant driver for growth

Can China deal with climate change without the U.S.?

Where are the charities in the great Artificial Intelligence debate?

Who is culpable in the EU for Ukraine’s defection to Russia?

Security Union: political agreement on strengthened Schengen Information System

Women in video games: ‘Accept it, or don’t buy the game’

Trade wars won’t fix globalization. Here’s why

EU to Telcos: Stop Mergers and Acquisitions but please help me urgently with 5G development

Greece did it again

EU Commission: Growth first then fiscal consolidation

Catalonia secessionist leader takes Flemish ‘cover’; Spain risks more jingoist violence

Palestinian Bedouin community faces demolition after Israeli court ruling, warns UN rights office

Ukrainian civil war: Is this the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

Egypt urged to free prominent couple jailed arbitrarily since last June: UN rights office

At global health forum, UN officials call for strong, people-focused health systems

Tougher defence tools against unfair imports to protect EU jobs and industry

An Easter Special: Social protection of migrants in Europe as seen through the eyes of European youth

Social Committee teaches Van Rompuy a lesson

It’s Time to Disrupt Europe, Digital First

Why the 33,000 staff European Commission did not have a real contingency plan for the refugee crisis?

Preparing for developing countries the ‘Greek cure’

Bertelsmann Stiftung @ European Business Summit 2014: Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TTIP) needs balanced approach

Commission facilitates the activities of ‘merchants of labour’

European Commission: Does Apple, Starbucks and Fiat really pay their taxes?

Snowden is the “EU nomination” for this year’s Oscars

France sneaks into the Geneva US-Iran talks to claim its business share in Tehran

More answers from Facebook ahead of Parliament hearing today

Entrepreneur India Convention 2016: Bringing together Entrepreneurs, Investors, Startups and SMEs

How Greece was destroyed

China-EU Special Report: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang endorses China’s big investment on Juncker’s plan at 10th China-EU Business Summit

AIDEX 2015: Humanitarian Hero Award Winner Announced

Is there a way out of the next financial crisis? Can more printed money or austerity save us all?

UN chemical weapons watchdog adds new powers to assign blame, following attacks

Cyber defence: MEPs call for better European cooperation

New skills agenda for Europe needs real investment

Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on UK paper on EU citizens in the UK

The EU banking union needs a third pillar guaranteeing deposits

Is sub-Saharan Africa ready for the electric vehicle revolution?

New identity cards deliver recognition and protection for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

EU to pay a dear price if the next crisis catches Eurozone stagnant and deflationary; dire statistics from Eurostat

OECD: Mind the financial gap that lies ahead

Young students envision turning Europe into an Entrepreneurial Society

Berlin cannot dictate anymore the terms for the enactment of the European Banking Union

EU Commission accuses Germany of obstructing growth and the banking union

What can stop the ‘too big to fail’ bankers from terrorising the world?

COP21 Paris agreement: a non legally-binding climate pact won’t stop effectively global warming while EU’s Cañete throws hardest part to next Commission

Europe moulds global defense and security chart given US new inward vision

Why do medical students need to go abroad to become a doctor in 2017?

Eurozone to enter the winter…

Ideology is the enemy of growth

German opposition win in Lower Saxony felt all over Europe

Catalan Pro-Independence vote: how many hits can Brussels sustain at the same time?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s