Press releases

Weak Commission proposal undermines Paris Agreement

Weak Commission proposal undermines Paris Agreement

Brussels, 2/3/16

Key Points

  • Commission published their proposal on what Paris Agreement means for EU
  • Decision not to increase EU climate targets is not consistent with Paris Agreement to keep global temperature increase “well below 2 degreesC”


Nick Mabey, Chief Executive of E3G said:

“This proposal is not consistent with what Member States agreed in Paris and will cause alarm in capitals. It undermines the Paris Agreement and will undermine Europe’s influence internationally.

At a time when China will surpass their 2020 targets, peak their emissions earlier and rapidly scale up renewables, the EU plan threatens to reduce clean investment and access to global low carbon markets.”

Rosalind Cook, E3G Senior Policy Officer said:

“To prevent dangerous climate change the EU must increase its climate change targets. President Juncker promised to be big on the big things but the Commission has failed its first major test in implementing the Paris Agreement.”

Available for comment

Rosi is available for commentary and can speak to the Commission and the Paris Agreement – please contact her directly +32 (0)488 14 84 74,


Despite a clear mandate from the Paris Agreement for countries to do more, the Commission is only going to consider a revision of the EU’s climate targets after 2023, and that revision would only apply to the post-2030 period. We would have expected a review and signal of intent to raise ambition ahead of the 2018 global facilitative dialogue. This is needed for building confidence in the dynamic 5 yearly ambition raising cycles at the core of the Paris Agreement. The Communication is a missed opportunity to take this forward.

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. Choosing to move slowly on increasing ambition is the more dangerous option – the EU falls behind on energy efficiency and renewable investment, access to global low carbon markets and will need to manage increased climate risk.


Notes to Editors

  • See the EU Commission's press release here
  • 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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