UN climate change talks EU must push for UN deal to avoid dangerous climate change say MEPs

The European Parliament today adopted a resolution, setting out its position on the UN climate change negotiations ahead of the forthcoming UN climate summit in Paris (COP21). Commenting after the vote, Green MEP Benedek Javor said:

“The European Parliament has today underlined the need for the EU to push for a binding UN climate deal that aims to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to below 2 degrees.

“Beyond the general goals in today’s resolution, it is clear that the EU will need to seriously up its ambition if it is to play a constructive and proactive role in shaping the UN talks to this end. As Greens, we are concerned that the EU risks being a bystander at COP21 if it does not up its game.

“The EU’s 2030 climate change targets are acknowledged to be low on ambition. The headline figure of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40% is already far below what is necessary, both to limit global warming to 2 degrees and to spur the green economy. A positive signal from the EU that it is willing to increase this ambition depending on an agreement at the COP21 would provide some momentum and impetus for the Paris talks.

“Long-term emissions goals will be a key issue at the COP21. We need to be phasing out carbon globally by 2050 and moving to zero emissions to prevent dangerous climate change. The EU should join the other countries calling for this in the UN negotiations. Simply aligning the EU’s position with that of the G7 (a global reduction of emissions between 40-70% by 2050) is out of sync with the EU’s goal of limiting the global increase in temperature to below 2°C. 

“Finance for assisting developing countries most affected by climate change will be a crucial factor in agreement at the COP21. If the EU is to try and positively influence the outcome, we need to both deliver on commitments up to 2020 but also commit to fair and predictable scale of public climate aid beyond 2020.

“It is important that any climate change agreement is binding and its implementation will not be subject to challenge by corporations in private tribunals. We welcome support from MEPs for a Green amendment to this end today.”