EU countries push for higher 2030 climate ambition, leaving Commission lagging

Posted on 04 March 2016    
Hillside fire in Cumbria, UK
© WWF Canon

This morning, a large number of EU environment ministers called for the EU’s 2030 climate targets to be revised upwards in line with the commitments made at COP21. They were discussing the impact of the COP21 climate summit in Paris on EU policy.

Ministers from countries including Germany, the UK, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, Luxembourg, and Portugal pushed for enhanced EU action on the climate.

Geneviève Pons, Director of WWF European Policy Office, commented:

“Today we have seen huge support from Member States for increasing the EU’s 2030 climate and energy targets. Doing so is the only way of standing by our commitments in Paris, such as working to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.

EU countries have injected a welcome dose of ambition back into the climate discussion, after the Commission’s lacklustre input.

It is now over to EU heads of state and government to push forward the discussion at their meeting on 17-18 March, and to give the European Commission a clear mandate for revising these targets upwards.”

The European Commission’s preparatory paper had claimed that the COP21 Agreement “vindicated” the EU’s approach and didn’t necessitate a revision of the 2030 target to reduce carbon emissions by 40%.

A few Member States, such as Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, said they did not support increased ambition.

Earlier this week, a coalition of businesses, cities, trade unions and NGOs called on EU leaders to ensure that climate policies are in line with the Paris Agreement.

Hillside fire in Cumbria, UK
© WWF Canon Enlarge