While European Environment Ministers give today a positive signal to the international community about the need to deal with the global climate crisis, the EU’s position lacks clarity on how Europe intends to contribute to it in practice.
Today European Environment Ministers adopted the EU’s position for the UN Climate Change conference (COP21) - the most significant international climate negotiations since 2009 in Copenhagen - that will be held in Paris at the end of the year . While European Environment Ministers give a positive signal to the international community about the need to deal with the global climate crisis, the EU’s position lacks clarity on how Europe intends to contribute to it in practice.
What is notably missing from the EU’s position is the way the EU intends to deliver more than the proposed 40% greenhouse gas emission reduction target by 2030, and how it will provide its fair share of international climate finance. These issues remain open questions for the rest of the world.
Reacting to the Environment Council’s conclusions, Geneviève Pons Deladrière, Director of the WWF European Policy Office, said:
“As climate change is speeding up and getting worse, it’s regrettable that EU Environment Ministers failed to spell out how the EU intends to increase its own climate and energy targets.
Citizens and communities around the world are already spearheading the shift to clean energy solutions and support moving out of coal and other fossil fuels.The Paris climate talks must be where the world decides to end the fossil fuel age, and where responsible governments agree how to speed up the global energy transition.
If everyone swept in front of their own door, the whole world would be clean. Europe can’t afford to plan for a weak outcome in Paris. The increase of Europe’s own climate goals and delivery of adequate levels of international climate finance will be crucial to clarify in the coming months. Paris will be judged on actions, not words.”
The Environment Council also adopted today the establishment of a Market Stability Reserve for EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), despite opposition by a group of six EU Member States that could not support the final compromise text.
Geneviève Pons Deladrière, Director of the WWF European Policy Office, said:
“The agreement on the ETS Market Stability Reserve shows that European Member States can progress to adopt climate policy without the need for consensus among all countries. This should give confidence to inspire further reforms in the context of the post-2020 review of the ETS Directive to prove that European pollution pricing can work for the climate ”
Notes to the editors:
Today, ahead of the Environment Council, civil society groups, including WWF, staged a stunt in front of the EU Council building in Brussels, where two rival camps, representing fossil fuels and renewable energy, challenged each other in a climate tug of war, under the eyes of European leaders. High resolution images of the event are available here. Please credit Lode Saidane/ WWF if reproducing the photographs.
Audrey Gueudet Climate & Energy Senior Media and Communication Officer WWF European Policy Office email@example.com Phone: +32 2 743 88 06 Mobile: + 32 494 03 20 27
“100% renewables: People power, Climate solutions”: Joint NGO media stunt in front of the EU Council building in Brussels on 18 September 2015