An ambitious and binding Climate Agreement is the best guarantee for a safe future, say S&Ds
Ahead of the plenary vote this evening on the European Parliament’s mandate for the UN Paris Climate summit (COP21) in December, Socialists and Democrats called for an active role of the EU negotiating team to push for legally binding and ambitious emission reduction targets, as well as solid financial instruments to achieve those goals.
The author of the parliamentary report to be passed this evening, S&D MEP Gilles Pargneaux, said:
"Finance is the cornerstone of the Paris agreement. Therefore, the Parliament calls on the EU and its member states to honour the ambition to deliver their part of the 100 USD billion per year for the financing of climate action in developing countries. As requested by the S&D, the resolution asks for new sources of climate finance such as using a part of the auction revenues of the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS).
"As the date of the summit approaches it becomes urgent to intensify climate diplomacy. World leaders should understand that limiting the planet’s temperature rise to 2 degrees will not only prevent climate change and its associated natural disasters, but also a dramatic increase in the number of climate refugees. There are 24 million people displaced because of natural disasters already each year and there may be 200 million climate refugees in the future if nothing is done."
S&D spokesperson on climate, Matthias Groote, said:
"Let’s not give up on our efforts. Fighting climate change is a conjoint European commitment. This is why we need to integrate an ambitious climate strategy with energy efficiency and further incentives for sustainable and clean industries, whilst taking all industries into account. This is why we need three integrated targets and not just one.
"This also means that we need to include the aviation and shipping sectors in the final agreement to be reached in Paris. The climate impact of international aviation and shipping are equal to that of Germany and South Korea respectively, yet both sectors may be exempted from the emission targets to be set in Paris. We should not turn a blind eye to this sector.
"Aviation is responsible for 5% of global warming with shipping emitting almost 3% of global greenhouse gases. CO2 emissions from the two sectors are set to grow by up to 250% by 2050, making attempts to limit global warming to 2°C all but impossible."
S&D vice-president Kathleen Van Brempt added:
"There is no contradiction between growth and sustainability. Until now, the EU 20/20/20 policy delivered quite well. We will manage to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by more than 20% by 2020, achieving this while the European economy has grown by 45 % since 1990.
"The 20/20/20 targets for emissions, renewable energy and energy savings have played a key role in driving this progress and sustaining the employment of more than 4.2 million people in various eco-industries, with continuous growth during the economic crisis. A more ambitious EU policy on climate, renewables and energy efficiency will keep European companies in the avant-garde of the clean tech industries worldwide.
"The French presidency is investing all efforts to make the Paris summit a success. We, as a political group, also want to contribute to this crucial meeting to save our planet. This is why next Wednesday 21 October we will be attending a PES leaders meeting on climate in Paris, hosted by French prime minister Manuel Valls.”
MEPs Kathleen Van Brempt, Matthias Groote, Gilles Pargneaux and Miriam Dalli will be part of the European Parliament’s delegation to the COP21, and they will also take part in a Progressives for Climate event with other Socialist and Democrats leaders on 21 and 22 October.