EU should increase its climate ambition
ENVI MEPs adopted their position for the UN’s COP23 in Bonn
Maria Koleva, Brussels
8 September, 2017
Urging for more financing of emissions-reducing investments and that global carbon emissions need to be phased out by 2050 or shortly thereafter, the European Parliament Environment Committee (ENVI) members agreed on Thursday their recommendations to EU institutions and Member States for the forthcoming 23rd UN Climate Change Conference, COP23. It will take place in Bonn from 6 to 17 November this year under the Presidency of the Republic of Fiji. During the conference, representatives from 197 countries will negotiate the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and concretely the achievement of clarity on the design of the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue, which will aim to take stock of governments’ efforts towards the long-term goal. Delegation of MEPs will attend the event. The full house will vote on the draft resolution during its October plenary session in Strasbourg.
Out of 60 MEPs present, 54 gave their vote in favour, nobody was against and six abstained during the session chaired by ENVI chief Adina-Ioana Valean, Romanian EPP MEP, who is also one of the eight co-rapporteurs on this important file.
EU leaders should implement the agreement with EU legislation and ratchet up the EU’s goals and policy instruments, the document says. Committee members also asserted that by 2018 the Commission has to prepare a mid-century zero emissions strategy for the EU, with the aim of keeping the temperature rise well below 2°C, and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5°C. According to them, this process should begin as soon as possible.
MEPs also underlined the need of concrete EU and international commitments to deliver additional financing sources, saying that lending and investment practices should be in line with the well-below-2°C target. This also means freeing from fossil fuels and phasing out export credits.
Once again, the committee members voiced their disappointment about US President Donald Trump’s announcement to pull the United States, world’s second-largest producer of carbon dioxide, out of the international Paris climate agreement, and noted that this decision represents a step backwards. On the other hand, they expressed satisfaction from strong responses of governments around the world in favour of the full implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The EP has already adopted a lot of legislation pieces concretely dedicated to environmental protection and tackling climate change, and many others are in the pipeline. The adoption of three legislative texts implementing the Paris Agreement is approaching. One of them concerns the post-2020 carbon market, namely reforming the EU emissions trading system, which is a crucial instrument for reducing greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively. Next in row are the 2030 targets, effort-sharing regulation, the regulation on greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land-use, and land-use change and forestry.