European Parliament Declares Climate Emergency

European Parliament Declares Climate Emergency

The European Parliament has approved a resolution declaring a climate and environmental emergency in Europe and globally.

The resolution has been approved ahead of the UN COP25 Climate Change Conference which will take place between December 2nd and 13th in Madrid.

The Parliament also wants the European Commission to ensure that all relevant legislative and budgetary proposals are fully aligned with the objective limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

The resolution on declaring a climate and environmental emergency was adopted with 429 votes for, 225 votes against and 19 abstentions.

In a separate resolution, Parliament has urged the EU to submit its strategy to reach climate neutrality as soon as possible, and by 2050 at the latest, to the UN Convention on Climate Change.

MEPs have also called on the new European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, to include a 55% reduction target of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in the European Green Deal.

Von der Leyen has already cited climate policy as the most pressing issue facing her in her new role.

A statement from Parliament says that many of its members believe that current aviation and shipping ambitions fall short of the necessary emissions reductions.

It is the view of many MEPs that all countries should include emissions from international shipping and aviation in their national contributions plans (NDCs).

MEPs are urging the Commission to propose that the maritime sector be included in the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS).

Parliament has also said that EU countries should at least double their contributions to the Green Climate Fund. The Fund exists within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism.  It assists developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.

According to the Parliament statement, ‘EU member states are the largest providers of public climate finance, and the EU’s budget should fully comply with its international commitments.

They also note that pledges by developed countries do not meet the collective goal of 100 billion USD per year as of 2020.

Finally, they urgently call on all EU countries to phase out all direct and indirect fossil fuel subsidies by 2020.’

The European Commission has already proposed the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but the European Council has still not endorsed it as Poland, Hungary and Czechia are opposed.

Commenting on the declaration of a climate emergency, MEP and Chair of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Pascal Canfin said, ‘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.’

(Image: Karovaici via pixabay.com)

 

 

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