The UN climate summit in Doha (COP 18) should spur the EU and other countries around the world to step up their action to limit global warming, the European Parliament said in a resolution adopted on Thursday. A majority called for the EU to aim for a 30% reduction in emissions by 2020.
Current promises for action against climate change fall well short of what is needed to limit warming to the 2ºC target, MEPs warn in a draft resolution ahead of the UN summit in Doha, Qatar.
MEPs hope key industrialized countries will agree to renew the Kyoto Protocol, which expires this year. This would help bridge the gap to a new global treaty, which should be in force by 2020, after last year's summit resulted in a breakthrough roadmap.
The cross-party resolution was adopted with 485 votes in favour, 109 against and 45 abstentions.
MEPs reiterate that UN parties' pledged action falls short of what scientific findings deem necessary to meet their objective of limiting average global warming to 2°C. Calling on the EU to raise the bar on its current 20% emissions reductions target, the resolution says that "It is in the EU's own interest to aim for a climate protection target of 30% by 2020, thus creating sustainable growth, additional jobs and decreasing the dependency on energy imports". This phrase was approved by a narrow majority (331 to 306 and 9 abstentions).
Kyoto 2 and "hot air" credits
MEPs gave firm support to a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, a landmark agreement in force since 2005 and due to expire at the end of this year. This should bridge the gap to a global, legally-binding treaty that is set to be agreed by 2015 and in place by 2020, following a breakthrough commitment by UN parties at the Durban summit last December.
MEPs are concerned that the carry-over of "assigned amount units" (AAUs) - so-called "hot air" carbon credits held by a number of European and other countries - could undermine climate mitigation efforts. They say the EU should "lead by example" to resolve this issue.
Air and sea
MEPs reiterated their unwavering support for the inclusion of aviation in the EU's emissions trading system in the face of retaliatory trade measures by the US, China and India. International maritime emissions must also be urgently addressed, they warn.
Environment committee chair Matthias Groote (S&D, DE) will lead an official delegation of 15 MEPs attending the Doha summit from 3 to 7 December.
Procedure: Non-legislative resolution