At the EU Environment Council today, European Ministers agreed to “submit new or updated commitments, without falling behind previous levels of commitment, or resubmit the existing ones” every 5 years benchmarked against “sustainable climate neutrality and climate resilience in the second half of this century” in line with the G7 agreement to global decarbonisation over the course of the century.
Negotiations were begun, but not finalised, to explicitly increase carbon cutting ambition every 5 years, benchmarking Europe’s progress against a global decarbonisation goal.
The independent climate diplomacy experts, E3G, said it marks the beginning of Europe regaining its leadership position ahead of the international climate talks, COP21, in Paris at the end of this year. More needs to be done and this issue must now be taken up by European Leaders.
Liz Gallagher, Climate Diplomacy Programme Leader at E3G said:
“Until now we’ve been doing what governments think is achievable, not what they know is necessary for a safe climate. The emissions reduction pledges won’t deliver the 2°C obligation but the EU Environment Ministers’ decision today keeps open the door for 2°C. It’s not enough, it’s a start. We need to guarantee a mechanism to ratchet up ambition every 5 years. This ratchet is one of the best levers at the EU’s disposal to disrupt low ambition lock-in from China, Australia, Canada and Japan and keep the climate negotiations on track.”
Louisa Casson, E3G’s EU Climate Advisor said:
“The next step is to get more European Leaders engaged. Cameron, Renzi and others need to step up, listen to the chorus of demands from businesses, the Pope and the public, and commit Europe to building a more stable and prosperous future. We need to create the conditions for bolder ambition to avoid locking in futile fossil fuelled investments. Juncker made the Paris climate “international regime” a priority for the EU; now we need to see these words put into action. ”
Liz Gallagher, +44 (0) 7920 461 838, firstname.lastname@example.org
Louisa Casson +44 (0) 7825 894 188, email@example.com
Notes to Editors
- EU Environment council conclusions, 18th September 2015 http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2015/09/18-counclusions-un-climate-change-conference-paris-2015/
- Juncker’s State of the Union Speech was made in Strasbourg on 9th September 2015 http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-15-5614_en.htm
- The EU has already achieved its EU2020 target in 2014 (6 years early) and according to EU officials will ‘substantially’ overachieve it http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-629_en.htm