MEMBERS of the European Parliament have called on the EU to improve its climate change commitments, ahead of the UN’s COP24 summit later this year.
The MEPs noted that the current nationally determined contributions (NDCs), which are the commitments of each party in the Paris Agreement to reducing emissions, would lead to a global temperature increase of 3.2oC. The EU’s current NDC calls for greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030, and 80–95% by 2050.
MEPs backed a resolution in a vote on 25 October to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 and to have net zero emissions by 2050. This reduction would bring Europe’s efforts more in line with limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5oC, in line with the IPCC report. The non-binding resolution calls on the European Commission to update its NDC ahead of the UN COP24 summit which will be held in Poland in December.
Wendel Trio, director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, said: “We are heartened that the Parliament is rising to the challenge of massively increasing emission cuts in line with the conclusions of the IPCC report. By asking to move to 55%, the Parliament shows real leadership on climate, building on the recent statements from EU governments to increase climate action by 2030. This decision should be another incentive for the EU to put its full weight behind the fight against climate change and commit to a much higher climate target at the all-important COP24 summit.”
Frederic Hauge, president and founder of non-profit environmental organisation Bellona, said: “MEPs have sent a decisive signal to the European Commission that they not only want greater ambition on climate targets in the forthcoming Long Term Strategy, but also that they recognise the vital role that CCS technologies will have to play in reducing industrial emissions. For too long, DG CLIMA [Directorate-General for Climate Action] has fallen back on the lazy assumption that because CCS progress in Europe has been slower than expected, we therefore can’t rely on it in the future. The science tells us otherwise and now the Parliament has challenged the Commission to re-think its approach to this important technology, while also calling for a more ambitious target of reducing emissions to 55% below 1990 levels by 2030.”
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