The European Parliament declares climate emergency

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(Markus Spiske, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


EU should commit to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the UN Conference, says Parliament.

Ahead of the UN COP25 Climate Change Conference in Madrid 2-13 December, the Parliament on Thursday approved a resolution declaring a climate and environmental emergency in Europe and globally. They also want the Commission to ensure that all relevant legislative and budgetary proposals are fully aligned with the objective of limiting global warming to under 1.5 °C.

In a separate resolution, Parliament urges the EU to submit its strategy to reach climate neutrality as soon as possible, and by 2050 at the latest, to the UN Convention on Climate Change. MEPs also call on the new European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to include a 55% reduction target of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in the European Green Deal.

Step up global emission reductions for aviation and shipping

MEPs say that current aviation and shipping ambitions fall short of the necessary emissions reductions. All countries should include emissions from international shipping and aviation in their national contributions plans (NDCs), they say, and urge the Commission to

propose that the maritime sector be included in the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS).

More financial support to fight climate change

EU countries should at least double their contributions to the international Green Climate Fund, Parliament says. EU member states are the largest providers of public climate finance and the EU’s budget should fully comply with its international commitments. They also note that pledges by developed countries do not meet the collective goal of 100 billion USD per year as of 2020.

Finally, they urgently call on all EU countries to phase out all direct and indirect fossil fuel subsidies by 2020.

Quote

“The European Parliament has just adopted an ambitious position in view of the upcoming COP 25 in Madrid. Given the climate and environmental emergency, it is essential to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 55% in 2030. It also sends a clear and timely message to the Commission a few weeks before the publication of the Communication on the Green Deal “”, said Pascal Canfin (RE, FR), Chair of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, during the debate on Monday.

Background

The resolution on declaring a climate and environmental emergency was adopted with 429 votes for, 225 votes against and 19 abstentions. The European Parliament adopted the resolution on COP25 with 430 votes for, 190 votes against and 34 abstentions.

A number of countries, local administrations and scientists have declared that our planet is facing a climate emergency.

The European Commission has already proposed the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but the European Council has still not endorsed it as Poland, Hungary and Czechia are opposed.

Parliament at the COP25

COP25 will take place in Madrid 2-13 December 2019. The President of the European Parliament David Maria Sassoli, (S&D, IT) will attend the official opening. A delegation from the European Parliament, led by Bas Eickhout (Greens, NL), will be there 9-14 December.

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