Gilles Pargneaux on the UN Climate Summit: "a summit to decide" 


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Gilles Pargneaux 

Rising temperatures, melting glaciers and ever more frequent droughts and floods are all signs that climate change is a very real threat. In December a new international climate agreement will be sought at a special UN summit in Paris. On Wednesday the environment committee adopted a report setting out Parliament's aims for the negotiations. After the Committee vote, EP rapporteur Gilles Pargneaux (S&D, FR) talked to us on the goals agreed upon. The plenary vote is foreseen for October 14.

The report suggests that Parliament advocate a 40% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030. How do you convince China, the US and, of course, the European Union and its member states to accept this ambitious target?

It is a negotiation process. My report was adopted this morning by the ENVI committee and the plenary will vote on it in on 14 October in plenary . It is the official position of the European Parliament.

The Parliament will be present at the COP21 in Paris. From the moment we have our position - a position that exceeds other countries', like China, in ambition, our objective will be to convince. We will be an official delegation, we will be in contact with third countries in the COP21, an international summit, to not only dialogue, but decide.

Your report calls for additional sources of climate finance to support greater efforts for greenhouse gas reduction and adapt to climate change impacts. How should the money for these measures be raised?

We need a credible finance package, hence the proposal for a roadmap to supply the Green Climate Fund with $ 100 billion per year, which will allow us to support the most vulnerable countries that do not have the means to fight against climate change.

The fund will consist of state contributions. The report also proposes a certain number of innovative recipes linked, for example, to new energies to supply the fund with. The financial package will clearly be the cornerstone of the Paris agreement. If we fail to find an agreement on the Green Fund and on how to provide it, I think that unfortunately, we will either end up with either a non-agreement or a half-failure.

What role will the European Parliament have in the COP21 negotiations? 

We believe that the European Parliament should be at the forefront to ensure success at the COP 21, as this is the battle of the century. If nothing is done, we will have an increase of the average global temperature by above 2 degrees. We will see natural disasters and food crises multiplied. If nothing is done, experts say we are looking at almost 200 million climate refugees in the world.

The vote at a glance 
  • - Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% over 1990 levels by 2030 
  • - Increase the share of renewable energy sources to 30% of production 
  • - Cut overall energy consumption by 40%