A Sting Exclusive: “Europe must be more ambitious in COP21 and lead on climate finance and sustainable development”, Green UK MEP Jean Lambert points out from Brussels

Jean Lambert European ParliamentThis article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mrs Jean Lambert, UK MEP at the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance

The EU must be more ambitious if it is to play a constructive and proactive role in shaping the Paris Climate Conference (COP21), or else risk being a bystander. The stakes are higher than ever before. We must limit the global rise in temperature to a maximum of 2°C if we are to curb the worst excesses of climate change’s impact: droughts, floods and food crises which result in loss of life, increased instability, decreased labour productivity, health impacts and economic loss.

The climate talks which took place in Copenhagen (COP15) in 2009 resulted in mass disappointment to say the least and a very weak accord which failed to set any commitments to reduce emissions. Six years on it is important that we are critical and realistic about what will be achieved at COP21, but not hopeless.

The “intended nationally determined contribution” (INDC) represent the first time in the UN climate conference’s history that all countries are obligated to provide national pledges to manage their greenhouse gas emissions. INDC pledges will go much further than what was agreed in Copenhagen and it is a positive step, but they will not stretch far enough and will overtake the limit of a 2°C global temperature rise. We should be striving not to reach the 2°C target. The Alliance of Small Island States says that a global temperature rise of 2°C will see their demise; 1.5°C of global warming is the absolute maximum for their survival.

Also for the first time the climate conference will aim to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate change, legally binding targets are crucial but they will only be effective if they are accompanied by rules on transparency and accountability. Such rules will also help to re-build trust between countries which was lost following Copenhagen. However COP21 is but one step of the process to slash carbon emissions in order to stop runaway climate change, what happens post COP21 is crucial. Getting INDC pledges on the table is only useful if national governments are pressured to maintain their pledges.

Respecting the global carbon budget means leaving at least three quarters of all known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. The Divestment campaign to make the world fossil free has gained increasing momentum around the world, particularly in Europe. Fossil fuel subsidies must be removed urgently, and investment should be redirected to instigate a global renewable energy revolution, demanding energy access for all and particularly for those most in need.

All sectors must equally contribute, therefore it is fundamental that clear and ambitious targets are also applied for maritime and aviation emissions at COP21. Setting binding goals will also help give businesses and investors worldwide confidence about the speed and trend of the transition towards a cleaner planet. We must have a zero-carbon society by 2050. A 100% renewable energy future will not only result in stopping our carbon emissions but it will also create jobs and could help deliver greater equity in some of the world’s poorest areas.

Binding national targets on renewable energy and energy efficiency are imperative; however EU governments are not willing to accept national targets. The European Commission has renewed its commitment to a 30% target for energy efficiency in the EU by 2030, but it is not clear how the non-binding and weak 2030 target agreed by EU governments will move us towards this goal. The EU has to up its ambition if it is to positively influence the outcome of COP21 therefore we need to deliver on commitments up to 2020, while also committing to a fair and predictable scale of public climate finance beyond 2020. It is estimated that the EU could deliver early on its 2020 targets, but this is no reason to stop. The EU needs to lead by creating a habit of going above and beyond agreed targets with known technology.

Finance for assisting developing countries most affected by climate change will also be a crucial factor in agreement at COP21. We must demand that the commitment made by developed countries to mobilise 100 billion USD per year is honoured in order to build trust between all parties. An integrated and coherent loss and damage mechanism is crucial in order to provide strong support to states already impacted by climate change.

Europe has been the biggest donor of fast track finance, but further resources are still required. This is a prime opportunity for Europe to show its ambition and commitment to tackling climate change now with the necessary financial resources. All public climate finance should exclusively support climate resilient measures and renewable energy sources. Climate finance also has to be predictable and transparent to maintain trust that it will be delivered.

Poverty eradication is not possible without tackling climate change and the 13th UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of “climate action” highlights this. Both the SDGs and COP21 have timeframes that aim to be achieved by 2030 therefore it is paramount that both agreements complement each other. Many developing countries are at the front line of climate change, not only does the EU need to step up its commitment to climate financing and the SDGs it also needs to make sure that the voices of those nations being most affected by climate change are heard in COP21 and affect the outcome.

About the author

Jean_LambertJean Lambert was first elected to the European Parliament in 1999 as the Green Member for London, representing the views of those who want an environmentally sustainable fairer society. She was re-elected for a fourth term in the May 2014 European Elections.

Jean currently is a full member of the committee on Employment and Social Affairs where she focuses on social inclusion, workers’ rights, immigration, social security, and the European semester process.

Jean is also a substitute member of the committee on Civil Liberties where she works on issues related to asylum, immigration, children’s rights and anti-discrimination.

In 2014, Jean was re-elected for a second term as the Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with the countries of South Asia. Within this delegation, she leads on the Parliament’s external relations with Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. She is also a substitute on the India and Afghanistan delegations.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The opportunity of studying Medicine abroad

Three reasons to be optimistic for the future of Asia

The Future of Retail: Changing shopping patterns will mean retailers need to invest in costly and complex solutions

My unlimited China

ISIL continues to pose a ‘serious challenge’ worldwide – UN counter-terror chief

UN chief welcomes start of Church-mediated national dialogue in Nicaragua

Future Forces Forum: Prague will be hosting the most important project in the field of Defence and Security

To all far-right partisans who exploit Charlie Hebdo atrocity: a peaceful reply given by a peaceful student

UN chief welcomes Taliban’s temporary truce announcement, encourages all parties to embrace ‘Afghan-owned peace’

New energy security framework will help meet growing needs in East Africa, sustainably – UN economic wing

New phenomena in the EU labour market

Why growth is now a one way road for Eurozone

Climate Change: a challenge yet to be tackled in medical schools

Safer products: EP and Council close deal to beef up checks and inspections

Moscow’s Eurasian Union lost significance after the crisis in Ukraine

The issue of health literacy and how it affects European health policies

EU-U.S. Trade Talks: European Commission presents draft negotiating mandates

An EU Summit without purpose

Treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons marks first anniversary, but still lacks sufficient numbers to become law

MEPs reject making EU regional funding dependent on economic targets

EU invests in green projects and bans single-use plastics while climate change requires more to be done

EU secures more and cheaper energy supplies

Eurozone: Economic Sentiment Indicator recovering losses

UN forum spotlights cities, where struggle for sustainability ‘will be won or lost’

Humanitarian aid convoy to Syria’s Rukban camp: Mission Accomplished

A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for more efforts to ensure adoption of security proposals

Education and Training: where do we stand in 2014?

Deaf advocate voices importance of sign languages as UN marks first commemoration

Everybody against Japan over yen’s devaluation

The Commission tries to stop the ‘party’ with the structural funds

How did Facebook fool the Commission that easily during the WhatsApp acquisition?

‘I don’t like to give up’: veteran UN envoy reveals how two decades of quiet diplomacy gave birth to North Macedonia

Autumn 2018 Economic Forecast: sustained but less dynamic growth amid high uncertainty

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: Banking moguls continue brandishing financial Armageddon to intimidate us all but in Davos they worry about the very distant future

Will Brexit shatter the EU or is it still too early to predict?

A Sting Exclusive: “Europe needs decisive progress for stronger cybersecurity”, EU Commissioner Gabriel highlights from Brussels

Nearly two-thirds of children lack access to welfare safety net, risking ‘vicious cycle of poverty’

Despite progress towards peace, Afghanistan facing ‘daunting challenges’ ahead of presidential vote

Understanding the gender gap in the Global South

MEPs commend Ukraine‘s reform efforts and denounce Russian aggression

Companies that put employees first perform better

Beware the fragility of the global economy

Italy solves the enigma of growth with fiscal consolidation: The Banking Union

ECB: Euro area should smooth out the consumption and income shocks of its members

Change is happening – and young people are leading the way forward

Civilian deaths in Afghanistan hit record high – UN

The Junior Enterprise concept: Business & Education

These countries have some of the highest voter turnout in the world

Refugee crisis update: Commission still in panic while Turkey is to be added in the equation

Eurozone: A Sluggish economy offers no extra jobs

From rescue animals to electric buses, California is introducing bold new rules

2014 will bring more European Union for the big guys and less for the weak

Hungary’s laws on helping vulnerable foreigners are ‘blatantly xenophobic’: UN rights chief

IQ scores have been falling for decades, new study finds

3 reasons why AI won’t replace human translators… yet

More than nine in ten children exposed to deadly air pollution

At epicentre of Indonesia disaster, Guterres praises resilience of Sulawesi people

Deal on tightening the rules to stop terrorists from using homemade explosives

Global Citizen – Volunteer Internships

More progress needed on reducing and redesigning agricultural support policies

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 )

Connecting to %s