Opening: Schulz hails world climate change deal in Paris
The pioneering world climate change deal struck in Paris at the weekend could be “a turning point for the future of our planet”, said Parliament President Martin Schulz at the opening. He hailed the deal as “global, groundbreaking and trendsetting”, but stressed that it must now be put into practice.
The deal is global, because for the first time every state in the world has pledged to join the fight against climate change. Groundbreaking, because all recognised the need to keep global warming significantly below 2°C, or even limit it to 1.5°C. And trendsetting, because it aims to ensure that our planet is “climate neutral” in the second half of the century, i.e. that it emits no more greenhouse gases than the earth can cope with, he continued.
This deal will entail radically changing how we produce and consume energy, and honestly reviewing our progress every five years. The EU must live up to its climate obligations, both internally and externally, he concluded.
On Parliament’s behalf, Mr Schulz thanked Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, Luxembourg environment minister Carole Dieschbourg and the entire EU negotiating team for their efforts, and in particular the French Presidency of the Conference, and French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, whom he said would come to Parliament in January to talk about the outcome