• Progressives4Climate – Our call for real action on climate change

    In Europe, people are already feeling the consequences of global warming and in the developing world climate change is a devastating reality for many people.

    The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) in December 2015 was the opportunity for action on a global scale. The European Socialists and Democrats brought together progressive politicians and citizens from across Europe to put pressure on world leaders for an ambitious, universal, dynamic and legally-binding agreement.

    Ahead of the climate summit, we stepped up the campaign to get a strong deal. We organised a youth climate change summit in Paris and an online video competition to let young people express their views and send a powerful message to the world leaders coming to Paris. You can watch the videos from the #1Video4Climate contest and see the photos from the lively and productive youth summit below. At the same time, the Party of European Socialists held a meeting in Paris where Socialist and Democrat leaders from across Europe called for the EU negotiating team to push for legally binding and ambitious emission-reduction targets.

    The agreement reached at the COP21 conference was ambitious and surpassed many expectations, but unless the political momentum is maintained the targets will be missed and irreversible damage will be done to our planet. Therefore we will keep up our campaign and keep fighting for an ambitious climate strategy in Europe and strengthened international commitments at the COP22 summit in Marrakesh in November 2016.

    Join the campaign and follow the action on Twitter @Theprogressives #Prog4Climate

21 progressive proposals for COP21

Ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015, PES leaders held a meeting in Paris on 21-22 October, hosted by French prime minister Manuel Valls. The 21 proposals were approved by the PES presidency on 9 October and adopted by PES leaders on 21 October in Paris.

“We, the European Socialists and Democrats call urgently for an ambitious, dynamic and legally binding agreement at the COP21, to secure a sustainable future for us all.


The 2015 Paris Agreement – binding, universal and dynamic

  1. We strive to reach a universal and binding international agreement that is negotiated and accepted by and applicable to all Parties. It should commit all countries to quantifiable mitigation commitments, and should aim at bridging varying perspectives to hasten collective action. The agreement should enter into legal force once agreed upon by countries representing a large majority of global emissions and in 2020 the latest.
  2. We call for a durable, dynamic climate agreement that includes a mechanism for periodic review every five years combined with a robust mechanism for the continuous strengthening of national and collective commitments in line with latest science, and evolving responsibilities and capabilities. Such a mechanism should be based on the principles of transparency, participation and accountability through international legal provisions for the monitoring, reporting and verification of individual mitigation, adaptation and financing efforts entailed in the Paris Agreement. Monitoring, reporting and verification processes should enable the participation of non-state actors and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We call for the creation of an international independent agency under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change whose role would be to ensure that the monitoring, reporting and verification processes are effectively implemented and measured under common or at least comparable standards.
  3. Considering that some countries, groups of people and communities are already affected by the impacts of climate change, adaptation and loss and damage must be an important pillar of the new agreement. We call on all parties to develop and implement measures and plans for adaptation to climate change.
  4. We European Socialists and Democrats encourage all Parties to the Paris Agree¬ment to commit, jointly and individually, to a goal of phasing out anthropogenic greenhouse gas emis-sions, with a collective target of greenhouse gas reduction in the upper range of 40-70% by 2050 compared to 2010 as recommended by the IPCC. All countries should re-endorse the aim to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels and the possibility of limiting the rise in global temperature to an average of 1.5 degrees Celsius should be assessed. To give credibility to this decarbonisation target, each country should develop national decarbonisation paths that lead to this goal, starting effectively to phase out fossil fuel subsidies and start national disinvestment from fossil fuels.
  5. The Paris agreement should enshrine a transformative moment for the global society to alter its attitudes. This in particular towards a new way of thinking and establishing how, with a growing population; resources, biodiversity and the environment will be safeguarded.

The European Union – international climate leader by example

  1. For a long time we have campaigned for policies that enabled the EU to successfully decouple economic development from greenhouse gas emissions and to undergo a profound transition towards a more sustainable, zero-carbon economy based on renewable sources of energy and energy efficiency that opens up new growth, business and employment potentials while reducing dependence on energy imports. Hence the EU can and should act as a role model and leader at COP21, speaking with one voice in seeking progress towards an international agreement and staying united in that regard.
  2. For the EU to remain a credible leader and mediator in international climate change negotiations, we will further strive to align all EU and national policies and regulatory frameworks with climate change objectives, in order to make climate action more effective and to give signals to investors that will trigger innovation and low-carbon investments. We strive to also align international policies, regulatory frameworks and institutions with these objectives. The EU should strengthen its efforts in preventing global deforestation. European and Member States’ agriculture policies should prevent food waste, transportation with a heavy carbon footprint, and promote local production and consumption.
  3. To maintain its forerunner position in climate action, we urge the EU to consider its 2030 climate target as a lower limit. The EU should increase its domestic greenhouse gas reduction targets after COP21 from the current level of at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990, together with its targets on renewable energy and energy efficiency.
  4. We European Socialists and Democrats will work for the creation of a progressive European Energy Union that promotes the rapid and fair transition to a sustainable, decarbonised economy based on binding targets for renewable sources of energy, energy efficiency and reduction of energy consumption and effectively phase out the use of fossil fuels and all environmentally harmful subsidies by 2020. Transforming Europe to a circular economy that prevents waste and re-uses resources will contribute to this aim.
  5. We call for an ambitious reform of the European Emissions Trading System to make this instrument fit to serve as one of the main pillars of Europe’s post-2020 climate policy. A reformed ETS should address carbon leakage, help energy-intensive industries to shift to a low-carbon production model and directly and indirectly promote research and innovation in low-carbon technologies. A more stable and efficient ETS will encourage long-term investments in green industries and will inspire other regions in the world to introduce similar cost-effective mechanisms as drivers for a gradual and sustainable decarbonisation of their economies. In addition to the ETS and to ensure this decarbonisation, we call for the introduction of a European system of carbon taxation that sets a price on carbon of more than 50 e per ton by 2020 and 100 e per ton by 2030. These measures should be accompanied by non-market-based tools, such as standards, rules and public regulations, adapted industrial policies, public investments and incentives.
  6. While the Paris Agreement will be effective after 2020, we urge the EU’s Member States to swiftly ratify the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol to facilitate the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol’s Doha Amendment in order to step up pre-2020 climate ambitions. This would send a strong signal about the commitment of the EU and its Member States to a rules-based multilateral regime for addressing climate change at international level.
  7. We will promote policies in the EU that prove the world that climate protection and social developments go together hand in hand. Mobilising the European Fund for Strategic Investments, we will foster the full green job creation potential of the low-carbon transition. In close cooperation with the social partners, we will invest in vocational training to organise a just transition that supports those whose jobs are threatened, for instance in the fossil fuel, agriculture or tourism sectors, to find employment in low carbon industries. Through the review of energy legislation, we will fight energy poverty and demonstrate that safe and clean energy can be affordable for everyone. We will ensure that the protection of vulnerable groups such as children, persons with disabilities, the elderly, sick and low-income people is emphasised in climate change adaptation measures and extreme weather emergency plans. We must invest in women’s participation in green jobs. This must contribute to our fight against inequalities such as pay-gap and access to education and employment.

Climate finance – promoting global investment for resilient low-carbon economies

  1. The EU and its Member States should agree on and implement a roadmap for scaling up predictable, new and additional international climate finance for the period until 2020 and beyond. The EU must contribute its fair share of the USD 100 billion a year by 2020 in the framework of the Green Climate Fund, in line with existing commitments, from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance and to establish a mechanism to facilitate accountability and monitoring.
  2. Development banks, including the European Investment Bank and national investment banks, should develop climate investment roadmaps, excluding financial support to fossil fuels and specifying how they intend to contribute to the fulfilment of the 2 degrees Celsius limit agreed on by the international community. Their implementation should be monitored by multilateral, regional and bilateral development banks. An international financial transaction tax (FTT) mechanism can also finance climate action and sustainable development.
  3. In order to set a global incentive to decarbonise economies and to discourage carbon leakage, we call on all Parties to put in place carbon pricing mechanisms in a fair way, be it through a cap-and-trade mechanisms, taxation or a combination of both, to establish fair carbon prices world-wide ensuring a global level playing field for exporting industries in the global market. Such mechanisms would also generate additional revenues that could be invested in climate mitigation and adaptation measures.
  4. Financial actors should redirect their investment flows to ensure a real transition to a low carbon economy. A target of at least 10% of traditional portfolios should be dedicated to eco-friendly economy projects by 2020. For public investment funds higher targets should be considered. The EU needs financial regulations that promote this target, inter alia by adopting rules on measuring and providing transparent information on the exposure of financial investments to carbon intensity and climate risks. Credit rating agencies should take better into account the risks of stranded carbon intensive assets.

North-South cooperation – global solidarity to protect people from climate risks

  1. The impact of climate change on poor and vulnerable communities is undeniable. We welcome the adoption of a dedicated sustainable development goal on climate change in the framework of the United Nations post-2015 development agenda. We will work towards an EU development cooperation policy that fully emphasises the risk posed by climate change to development and poverty eradication and supports developing countries in averting these dangers, and we will foster the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The legal status of climate refugees and their rights to protection should be discussed within the Geneva Convention.
  2. A new economic model is possible. We believe that economic growth, poverty reduction, sustainable development and the fight against global warming can and must be achieved together. Ensuring equitable access to sustainable development for women and men will require enhanced means of implementation in order to help the most vulnerable countries to adapt to climate change and live with the loss and damage caused by the impacts of global warming. We therefore call for more financial and technological solidarity, including women’s economic empowerment as a priority.
  3. The Paris Agreement should stipulate and ensure that climate action is based on gender-equitable, participatory and rights-based approaches and tackles climate impacts, in particular to support poor and vulnerable people and communities. We strive for EU development cooperation that includes such an approach.

Stakeholder participation – engaging climate action partners beyond governments

  1. Our fight for a more sustainable society starts at local level. The local know-how, mixed with the innovativeness and creativity, as well as the trust and the closeness of people at that level can foster a climate of change. We thus welcome the initiative of thousands of cities in Europe – such as the Covenant of Mayors, or the declaration to divest from high-carbon industries and services by some of Europe’s biggest cities, led by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo (Parti Socialiste) - and world-wide to put ambitious climate policies in place. We want mayors and regional actors to be listened to in the COP21 process. We European Socialists and Democrats strongly support the Covenant of Mayors’ efforts to make communities more sustainable and climate resilient and we fight for an investment agenda that supports cities and regions in this endeavour.
  2. We call for all public stakeholders, form the local to the national level, to commit to a greenhouse gas emission reduction plan for the period 2015-2020, involving citizens, civil society, trade unions, non-governmental organisations, academia and businesses. Given the economic benefits drawn from an early implementation of low-carbon policies, we also encourage those stakeholders to set an emission reduction target for this period. We support the Paris Lima Action Agenda as a good platform for non-state actors to submit their commitment to climate protection.


Ahead of the UN climate change summit in Paris in 2015, we asked you to join the campaign to put climate change on the agenda across the world. And we got some great responses!

Read the agreed 21 progressive proposals.

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