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Environment ministers criticise Commission for failing to ramp up climate ambition

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Brussels, 4/3/16

Key Points

  • Environment ministers discussed today the Commission’s assessment on what Paris Agreement means for EU
  • Many Member States called for greater EU ambition and were critical that the Commission hadn’t captured the real spirit of Paris

Quote

Nick Mabey, Chief Executive of E3G said:

"The Commission has been dealt a firm rebuke by leading member states for their failure to support stronger ambition to cut carbon emissions following the historic Paris agreement. The scene is now set for the next EU Council meeting when heads of state must press for an accelerated transition to a clean energy economy.”

Available for comment

Rosi is available for commentary and can speak to the Environment Council, Commission assessment and the Paris Agreement – please contact her directly +32 (0)488 14 84 74, rosalind.cook@e3g.org

Story

At least 13 Member States called for greater EU climate ambition in light of the Paris Agreement, ahead of 2020. This included the UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Portugal, Slovakia and Luxembourg. Many expressed disappointment that the Commission assessment did not capture this.

Despite a clear mandate from the Paris Agreement for countries to do more, the Commission assessment stated they will only consider a revision of the EU’s climate targets after 2023, and that revision would only apply to the post-2030 period. A review and signal of intent to raise ambition ahead of the 2018 global facilitative dialogue is needed for building confidence in the dynamic five yearly ambition raising cycles at the core of the Paris Agreement.

It’s clear the EU will need to go beyond the ‘at least’ 40% reduction in emissions by 2030 because it is at the low end of what is required to limit global warming to 2°C.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  • E3G is an independent global think tank, working to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. E3G specializes in climate diplomacy, climate risk, energy policy and climate finance.
  • In 2016, E3G was ranked the number one environmental think tank in the UK by the Go To Think Tank Index, second in Europe and sixth in the World.

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