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Actions speak louder than words – Europe’s opening gambit for Paris

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This afternoon EU member states agreed the content of the EU's intended nationally determined contribution (iNDC), the opening input to the Paris international climate agreement this December.

Responding to the announcement, E3G Climate Diplomacy Programme leader Liz Gallagher said:

Europe is among the first to set expectations for a global climate agreement in Paris this year. There is a real deal to be done in Paris, and Europe’s opening offer puts the spotlight on others to get ready.

But this submission only hints at the EU’s deep transition towards decarbonisation. To protect European values, citizens and investments from unmanageable climate impacts, Europe will need to do more.

Europe’s actions speak louder than its words. Europe has a habit of over-delivering and under-promising, which sells itself short. In the run up to Paris, we need Europe to be courageous. By working with others, Europe can shift the political ambition before December.

Contact

Liz Gallagher, Programme Leader, + 44 (0) 7920 461 838, liz.gallagher@e3g.org

Notes to Editors

Today the EU announced its intended nationally determined contribution (iNDC) http://www4.unfccc.int/submissions/indc/Submission%20Pages/submissions.aspx

The decision reached in UN climate negotiations at COP19 in Warsaw, invited all countries to initiate or intensify domestic preparations for their mitigation offers (known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions – INDCs) for the Paris climate agreement well in advance of Paris (for those that can do so by Q1 2015). [1] In Lima COP20, [2] all countries agreed the guidelines for how governments should put forward their initial offers.

In October 2014, Europe agreed a comprehensive package of measures to reduce emissions out to 2030. It agreed an ‘at least 40%’ emissions reduction (based on 1990 levels) by 2030[3]. Europe was the first of the major economies to announce its offer and soon after the US and China agreed the outlines of their own offer for Paris. However, European member states are one of the first to officially translate or table these domestic decisions into formal INDCs.

E3G is an independent, non-profit European organisation operating in the public interest to accelerate the global transition to sustainable development. E3G builds cross-sectoral coalitions to achieve carefully defined outcomes, chosen for their capacity to leverage change. E3G works closely with like-minded partners in government, politics, business, civil society, science, the media, public interest foundations and elsewhere.

[1] Paragraph 2 (b) http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2013/cop19/eng/10a01.pdf

[2] http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/lima_dec_2014/application/pdf/auv_cop20_lima_call_for_climate_action.pdf

[3] http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/2030/index_en.htm

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