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EP declares climate emergency

Friday, November 29, 2019

Just days before the upcoming UN COP25 Climate Change Conference in Madrid 02-13 December 2019, the EP has voted and approved a resolution declaring a climate and environmental emergency in Europe and globally with 429 votes for, 225 votes against and 19 abstentions. Additionally, the MEPs have also adopted a resolution on the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) with 430 votes for, 190 votes against and 34 abstentions.

The key items included in the two resolutions are: (i) EC must ensure all proposals are aligned with 1.5 °C target; (ii) EU should cut emissions by 55% by 2030 to become climate neutral by 2050; (iii) calls to reduce global emissions from shipping and aviation.

With the resolution on climate and environmental emergency, the EP “calls on the EC, the MSs and all global actors, and declares its own commitment, to urgently take the concrete action needed in order to fight and contain this threat before it is too late”. Moreover, the EP urges MSs to “at least double their contributions to the international Green Climate Fund” as well as “to phase out all direct and indirect fossil fuel subsidies by 2020”.

Additionally, the MEPs are calling the MSs to agree to a single seat for the EP as well as the newly approved Commission “to address the inconsistencies of current Union policies on the climate and environment emergency, in particular through a far-reaching reform of its agricultural, trade, transport, energy and infrastructure investment policies”. This last item fits timely with the planned launch of the ambitious European Green Deal in the first 100 days of the Von der Leyen Commission, which following the EP’s approval will take office from 01 December 2019.

With the COP25 resolution, the EP “urges 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”. Additionally, the MEPs also call on the new EC President Ursula von der Leyen “to include a 55% reduction target of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in the European Green Deal”.

Following these developments and rhetoric used at both EP and EC level, now remains to be seen to what extent the MSs would agree to strengthen their respective climate policies and what will the details of the European Green Deal be.