EU Finance Ministers need to provide the framework to transition to a net-zero economy | WWF

EU Finance Ministers need to provide the framework to transition to a net-zero economy

Posted on 15 February 2019
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This Monday 18 February, Finance Ministers of EU Member states will meet in Brussels to discuss the European Commission’s strategic long-term vision for a climate neutral economy – A Clean Planet for all.

The massive economic and social costs of failing to implement deep systemic changes to combat the rising global temperatures has been well documented, especially in recent months. Beyond the costs of inaction, the necessary move to a net-zero carbon economy brings massive benefits and opportunities: An opportunity to strengthen and safeguard Europe’s industrial competitiveness, provided the right framework conditions are in place - which is what Ministers should agree to do in Monday’s Council meeting.

Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate & Energy, WWF European Policy Office said of Monday’s discussions:

“Now is the time for policy-makers to create a regulatory framework to tap into the economic benefits of the energy transition - and to avoid the skyrocketing economic and environmental costs of climate inaction”.

The solutions and opportunities are there. For example, 1.2 to 3 million jobs could be created across Europe if resource-efficient business models were adopted on a large scale [1].  

WWF is calling upon Finance ministers to:

1.      Endorse the European Commission’s strategic long-term vision for a climate neutral economy and support an EU long-term climate target to net-zero GHG emissions by 2040.
2.      Urge the European Commission to present a new and integrated EU industrial climate strategy for energy-intensive industries in support of a competitive, circular and net-zero emission heavy industry transition;
3.      Recognise the immediate need to provide a policy framework which supports and incentivises the full decarbonisation and transformation of resource and energy-intensive industry sectors before 2050;

“Acting now is crucial, since for most energy-intensive companies, 2050 is just one investment cycle away from today,” said Lübbeke. “The EU’s industrial and climate strategies need to be aligned to move towards a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy.”


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Notes to editors:
[1] http://www.rebus.eu.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Extrapolating-resource-efficient-business-models-across-Europe.pdf

Contact:
Alexandra Chevalier
Senior Communications Officer
WWF European Policy Office
achevalier@wwf.eu