EU leaders ask for long-term climate strategy
Last night EU heads of state called on the European Commission “to present by the first quarter of 2019 a proposal for a Strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions reduction in accordance with the Paris Agreement, taking into account the national plans” in their Council conclusions.
The EU originally committed to producing a long-term emissions reduction strategy after signing the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
Reacting to this, Andrea Kohl, Director of WWF European Policy Office said:
“'It is encouraging that EU heads of state are finally showing leadership on climate action, over a year after ratifying the Paris Agreement. A plan for reaching net zero carbon emissions in the EU well before 2050 is needed - at the latest by early 2019 - to show industry, citizens and other countries the direction of travel, and to speed up the journey.”
“I urge EU governments to show that same commitment to fighting climate change when it comes to the Clean Energy Package files, for which their positions are far less ambitious than what was agreed in Paris. Hopefully the upcoming trilogues will be a chance to bring the package more in line with the Paris Agreement by increasing the 2030 climate and energy targets.”
The UN Paris Agreement on climate change was signed in December 2015. It states:
“All Parties should strive to formulate and communicate long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies, [...] taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.”
To date, only seven countries have submitted long-term strategies to the UNFCCC portal. Three of these are EU Member States: the Czech Republic, France and Germany.
In October 2017, EU Environment ministers included language on long-term strategies in their conclusions:
“HIGHLIGHTS the importance of long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies as a policy tool for developing reliable pathways and the long term policy changes needed to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement; and ENCOURAGES the development thereof; WELCOMES the initiative of the European Commission and Member States to prepare an in-depth analysis of the environmental, economic and social impacts of pathways that are coherent with the long-term temperature goals of the Paris Agreement so as to inform EU political debates with a view to formulate the EU strategy in accordance with paragraph 35 of Decision 1/CP21”
The European Council conclusions say: “The European Council invites the Commission to present by the first quarter of 2019 a proposal for a Strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions reduction in accordance with the Paris Agreement, taking into account the national plans.”
Senior Communications Officer
WWF European Policy Office
Tel: +32 473 57 31 37