MEPs Urge EU to Ratchet Up Climate Target

World | Climate Change

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

Lawmakers in the European Parliament have agreed a new resolution urging EU leaders to set out a 2050 net zero emissions target for the bloc by 2020.

In a vote on Wednesday, ahead of the UN’s COP23 meeting in Bonn next month November, MEPs called on leaders to ramp up the EU’s climate targets and step up efforts to grow the green economy.

Under the rules of the UN climate change framework, all UNFCCC parties have to set out their long-term climate plans by 2020. MEPs agreed the EU must do this as soon as possible, and include in its targets a mid-century zero emissions strategy that is in line with the aims of the Paris Agreement to limit warming to “well below” two degrees.

They also called for the Commission to do more to promote the forging of new links between the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) and other carbon markets, and issued fresh calls for more private investment to be tethered to climate risk considerations.

The resolution was welcomed by campaigners at Climate Action Network (CAN). “MEPs send a strong signal to all EU decision makers to step up and commit to more ambitious climate action,” Wendel Trio, the group’s director, said.

The MEPs also condemned President Trump’s decision earlier this year to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement, declaring the decision represents “a step backwards”.

However, they noted the strong responses the decision elicited from world leaders that suggest Trump’s stance will not be widely adopted elsewhere.