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UN climate conference in Warsaw must set out steps towards a global deal

Plenary Session Press release - Environment23-10-2013 - 14:36
Cracked mud is in the dried shores a lake   Warsaw conference on climate change will be crucial in setting a timetable for a robust global climate agreement© BELGA/AFP/F.Coffrini

The November UN conference of 192 countries taking part in the Kyoto Protocol in Warsaw must set out a timetable and steps towards a global and binding agreement in 2015 in Paris, said Parliament in a resolution voted on Wednesday. Parliament reiterated the EU's offer to increase its emission reduction target to 30% by 2020 if other major emitting countries commit themselves to comparable goals.

"Eyes are turned to the Paris summit in 2015, but in order to achieve a global and robust climate agreement, the Warsaw conference will be crucial in shaping its architecture and timetable. I believe that the EU must lead efforts by raising its own objectives, in order to facilitate such a deal" said Environment Committee Chair Matthias Groote (S&D, DE), who will lead the European Parliament delegation at the conference from18 November.

MEPs stress that the Warsaw conference will be a key step towards a global and binding agreement by the time the climate conference (COP21) is held in Paris in 2015. Such an agreement will need to meet the goal of reducing global emissions to below 1990 levels by 2030 and should aim to phase out global carbon emissions by 2050. This internationally legally binding protocol, now under negotiation in the Durban Platform, should build on, develop and improve the rules already agreed under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, they say.

They note that the EU is on track to achieve emissions reductions well beyond the current 20% target, and reiterate that it has offered to increase its target to 30% by 2020 if other major emitting countries commit themselves to comparable goals.

MEPs recall that EU emissions represent about 11% of global emissions. Greater acceptance of ambitious climate change policies could be achieved by industrial players and energy sectors if a higher level of ambition were shown through similar efforts on the part of other global economies, they say.

They also stress the need to set a price on carbon emissions from international aviation and maritime transport which, besides reducing emissions, may also serve to generate income.

MEPs say that the EU should reduce its emissions through policies to stop the development of highly greenhouse-gas-intensive unconventional fossil fuels such as tar sands. Public subsidies supporting the development of unconventional fossil fuels should be phased out, they add.

Timetable in 2013, commitments in 2014, deal in 2015

MEPs therefore call for a COP Decision in Warsaw to set out the timetable and process for committing all parties to formulate mitigation commitments in 2014, and subsequently to assess and revise them in 2015.

They say the main objective should be a new "Climate Pact", applicable to all and involving industrialised, as well as developing countries, with a robust system of compliance and enforcement.

Next steps

From 11-22 November 2013, the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP 19) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be held in Warsaw, Poland. A delegation of Environment Committee MEPs will attend. The motion for a resolution was passed with 524 votes in favour, 120 against and 14 abstentions.

Procedure: Oral questions, with resolution





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REF. : 20131018IPR22636