EU Abdicates on Climate
Proposed climate plan fails people across the world
TODAY - Civil society leaders across the world criticised the European Union's climate action plan, that it announced it would submit to the United Nations in preparation for December's Paris Climate Summit.
The EU announced a plan that did not include reference to commitments to provide transfers of finance and technology to developing countries and did not address 'loss and damage', or how to deal with the impacts of climate change in vulnerable communities.
Its proposal reiterated its existing 2030 climate pollution target, that has been widely criticised as being insufficient to meet its own objective of limiting temperature rise to 2C above pre-industrial levels.
Scale of the proposed EU target
"Climate change is a devastating reality today in the Philippines but the EU has chosen to ignore our lives and our rights with this announcement. With this proposal the EU is officially abandoning its own 2C temperature goal and therefore the needs and rights of vulnerable people across the world. The science is very clear that such weak targets, combined with the ongoing use of discredited carbon markets, means we are not on track to tackle the climate crisis, and that the EU is now complicit in committing us to further destruction." Lidy Nacpil, convenor of the Asian Peoples' Movement on Debt and Development (formerly called Jubilee South), said from Manila in the Philippines.
Lack of finance in the EU target and risk to the Paris Summit

"That the EU has not included climate finance in its submission to the Paris conference speaks volumes about its commitment to the rights and needs of African people. How can we adapt to climate change impacts without a commitment on finance? How can African governments scale up their climate action if they don't know what finance and technology is available to them? A lack of a finance commitment is a lack of a commitment to a meaningful climate deal in Paris."  Azeb Girmai, focal point on climate change for LDC-Watch, said from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

No mention of 'loss and damage' in the EU target

"People across central America and the world are already seeing crops wilt, our homes flood, and people being forced to migrate - yet the EU has ignored this entirely. How they can make a submission on their 'contribution' to climate action and not address the loss and damage we are already suffering is beyond belief. This is a failure of leadership and a failure of ethics and risks a failure at the Paris Summit." Benajmin Correas, campaigner with Mesoamerican Campaign for Climate Justice, said from San Salvadro in El Salvador.

  • A selection of quotes from academics and business in response to the EU's 2030 climate targets as well as a breakdown of the proposal is available here


Friends of the Earth Europe
Press statement
For immediate release: Friday March 6, 2015



Brussels, March 6, 2015 – The European Union today became the first major power to show its cards and announce the level of climate action it proposes to pledge at global climate talks in Paris later this year. [1]

But the emissions cuts beyond 2020 agreed by environment ministers fall far short of Europe’s fair share of the action needed to avoid dangerous climate change, says Friends of the Earth Europe. [2]

The pledge is for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 40% by 2030. This is the level of cuts already announced last year and does not represent any increase in effort from Europe ahead of the Paris talks. [3] Nor does the pledge cover any financial or technological support for countries on the front line of climate change impacts.

Susann Scherbarth, climate justice campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said:“Europe has shown its cards first and this is not a winning hand for people or the planet. ”We have to tell the truth, there is a huge gap between what climate science and equity tells us Europe needs to do and the agreement of the ministers today. It is frustrating to hear our governments describe their climate pledges as ambitious when they are failing to move us away from fossil fuels fast enough.

"By locking in inadequate climate action Europe is threatening lives and livelihoods across the world.”

The United Nations climate talks in Paris in December are due to agree a new international climate change agreement. 

All 195 nations have been requested to publish their post-2020 climate actions plans by the end of March.

Friends of the Earth Europe welcomes the fact the European Union, as one of the big emitters responsible for causing climate change, has published its pledge early. However, the group criticizes the inadequacy of Europe’s proposed action which is not in line with the objective of keeping global warming well below 2°C, as agreed by the UN. This target is based on outdated science and is much less than what Europe could achieve if it reduced energy consumption and truly transformed its energy system to be clean, renewable and citizen-controlled, according to the environmental justice organisation.

Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth International climate justice and energy coordinator, from Mozambique said: "The EU and other major polluters like the US are not doing their fair share to prevent irreversible and dangerous climate change.

“Many communities are moving from fossil fuels to renewables on the ground but most governments are not doing enough to support this urgently needed energy transition. Ordinary people, not politicians, are leading. In 2015 we will see more people on the streets fighting against the powerful influence of fossil fuel corporations and for a citizen-controlled, just energy transition.”

Also today, the Finnish parliament passed a climate bill that commits to 80% emissions reductions by 2050. With the possibility for the revision of targets according to the latest climate science, it is one of the most ambitious climate laws passed to date in Europe.

The law comes after long-term campaigning from Maan ystävät / Friends of the Earth Finland. [4]


Protesters making their way toward the Plenary inside COP17

Protesters making their way toward the Plenary inside COP17

Image by Adopt A Negotiator






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