Saturday

17th Aug 2019

EU climate ambitions are too low, MEPs say

The European Parliament has said that the greenhouse gas cuts recently proposed by the European Commission are insufficient, while also taking the green side in the controversy on car emissions.

MEPs meeting in Strasbourg on Wednesday (14 February) adopted with a clear majority - 616 for, 25 against and 30 abstentions - a resolution which "stresses the urgency of taking concrete action at global level to tackle climate change, as well as the need for political leadership to drive the process forward."

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Although the Strasbourg assembly welcomed the fact that both the commission and the current German EU presidency have put climate change at the core of their agenda, MEPs believe that more should be done.

They want a tougher target on cutting greenhouse gas emissions across the bloc calling for a 30 percent target from 1990 levels by 2020 - instead of the 20 percent proposed by the commission.

The parliament also wants the EU to aim for an 80 percent reduction target by 2050.

The commission in January said it wants EU member states to promote a 30 percent reduction of CO2 emissions by 2020 for developed countries in international negotiations - but it added that the EU should aim for a lower 20 percent target if an international deal fails.

"It's a tough aim but we really want to achieve this," said German centre-right MEP Peter Liese, adding he was concerned about what kind of signal a 20 percent EU target would send out when the bloc calls for a 30 percent international target. "It will undermine our negotiation position," he said.

UK green MEP Caroline Lucas said 30 percent "is the bare minimum of what we must aspire towards."

"Scientists have stressed that industrialised countries must reduce their emissions by at least this amount if we are to effectively tackle the climate crisis we are facing," she explained.

"EU member states must not show the same lack of ambition as the commission when they consider the energy package."

EU leaders will meet in Brussels on 8-9 March to discuss the commission's "common energy policy" proposal, presented in January, in which climate change plays an integral part.

Citizens involvement

The European Parliament resolution also "encourages much greater direct involvement…at the level of the European citizen."

"All of us can and have to do something and individuals can make a difference," said German centre-right MEP Karl-Heinz Florenz at a press conference in Strasbourg.

Mr Florenz, whose house in western Germany runs on solar energy and home-grown wood, wrote the resolution on behalf of the parliament's environment committee.

However, other MEPs think the EU assembly should get its own house in order first.

The Green group point out that the parliament spends on average 6,200,000 euro per year for electricity for its three buildings in Strasbourg, Brussels and Luxembourg, 1,857,929 euro on heating while the buildings emit 11,245 tonnes of carbon dixoide emissions.

UK 'doomsday' report pushes EU on climate change

The EU's emissions trading scheme should expand on a global scale, according to a new landmark UK report on the costs of climate change which calls on the world to act now or face dire consequences.

Brussels urges EU to stick its neck out on climate change

The European Commission has called on the 27 EU member states to reduce by 2020 the bloc's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 percent compared to what they were 17 years ago. The unprecedented move aims to set an example to the rest of the world in the fight against climate change.

EU sets world's toughest CO2 emissions cap for cars

After one of the bitterest internal power struggles in recent years, the European Commission on Wednesday finally unveiled a compromise proposal on limiting carbon dioxide emissions from new cars - but many crucial elements remain unclear.

EU countries set for scuffle over CO2 targets

The EU's desire to fight climate change will be put to the test as its 27 environment ministers meet in Brussels on Tuesday to agree on common targets to reduce climate change – something member states are deeply divided over.

Exclusive

Selmayr did not keep formal records of lobby meetings

The German former secretary-general of the European Commission held some 21 meetings which were registered in the lobby register. But no documents appeared to exist summarising what was said.

Feature

EU asked to solve migrant rescue deadlock

No EU country willing to open its ports for the Spanish rescue ship Open Arms, with France and others turning to the European Commission for help.

News in Brief

  1. Trump turned down: Greenland not for sale
  2. UK Libdems would back Clarke or Harman as new PM
  3. Six countries agree to take 'Open Arms' ship migrants
  4. Gibraltar judge: Iranian ship should be released
  5. Increasing fears of a global recession
  6. Far-right hate crimes on the rise in Germany
  7. EU steel tariffs have 'worked well' so far
  8. Italian court: Migrant rescue ship can enter Italian waters

Opinion

Lagarde's ECB must modernise

Christine Lagarde will succeed European Central Bank president Mario Draghi at a time of deepening polarisation among eurozone member states. It will take all of her skills as a leader and communicator to safeguard the institution's independence.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. Selmayr did not keep formal records of lobby meetings
  2. EU asked to solve migrant rescue deadlock
  3. Internal EU paper: Second Brexit vote was no longer 'distant dream'
  4. EU has 'zero incentive' to break open 'trilogue' deals
  5. Denmark plans import ban on EU-approved pesticide
  6. US offers Johnson helping hand on Brexit
  7. Italy: New government without Salvini in the making
  8. Brexit row delays financial products transparency review

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us