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Friday, November 29, 2019

European Parliament declares a climate and environmental emergency before COP25

A few hours ago the European parliament declared a climate emergency by a reasonably wide margin.

The nonbinding resolution said the European Commission must :
  • ensure all proposals are aligned with 1.5 °C target
  • EU should cut emissions by 55% by 2030 (on 1990 baseline) to become climate neutral by 2050
  • Calls to reduce global emissions from shipping and aviation

The resolution on declaring a climate and environmental emergency was adopted with 429 votes for, 225 votes against and 19 abstentions. The European Parliament adopted the resolution on COP25 with 430 votes for, 190 votes against and 34 abstentions.

At last action is ramping up commensurate with what science says is needed.

The targets are probably still too low to hit 1.5C but it demonstrates ambition just before COP25, which is sorely needed at the global political level with the US withdrawing from the Paris Agreement (but still with one year to go).

It puts Australia to shame with our low climate targets (26-28% emissions reduction by 2030 on 2005 baseline) and advocacy for shonly use of carbon credits from Kyoto Protocol to halve this already low target.

“The European Parliament has just adopted an ambitious position in view of the upcoming COP 25 in Madrid. Given the climate and environmental emergency, it is essential to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 55% in 2030. It also sends a clear and timely message to the Commission a few weeks before the publication of the Communication on the Green Deal "”, said Pascal Canfin (RE, FR), Chair of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, during the debate on Monday.

Significantly, MEPs also raised the importance of current aviation and shipping ambitions, and that they fall short of the necessary emissions reductions. The motion advocated that all countries should include emissions from international shipping and aviation in their national contributions plans (NDCs). The Commission was urged to propose that the maritime sector be included in the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS).

EU countries were also urged to at least double their contributions to the international Green Climate Fund.

There was also an urgent call on all EU countries to phase out all direct and indirect fossil fuel subsidies by 2020. (The G20 first committed to fossil fuel subsidy phaseout in 2009)


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