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Procedure : 2009/2548(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B6-0134/2009

Texts tabled :

B6-0134/2009

Debates :

PV 11/03/2009 - 3
CRE 11/03/2009 - 3

Votes :

PV 11/03/2009 - 5.21
CRE 11/03/2009 - 5.21
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2009)0121

Texts adopted
PDF 101kWORD 51k
Wednesday, 11 March 2009 - Strasbourg Final edition
Combating climate change
P6_TA(2009)0121B6-0134/2009

European Parliament resolution of 11 March 2009 on an EU strategy for a comprehensive climate change agreement in Copenhagen and the adequate provision of financing for climate change policy

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to Article 175 of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to the climate and energy package adopted by Parliament on 17 December 2008, in particular its positions on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to improve and extend the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading system of the Community(1) and on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the effort of Member States to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to meet the Community's greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments up to 2020(2) ,

–   having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the European Council of 19 and 20 June 2008 and 11 and 12 December 2008,

–   having regard to its resolution of 4 February 2009 on '2050: The future begins today – Recommendations for the EU's future integrated policy on climate change'(3) ,

–   having regard to the 14th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (COP 14) and the Fourth Conference of Parties serving as a meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 4), held between 1 and 12 December 2008 in Poznań (Poland),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication of 28 January 2009 entitled 'Towards a comprehensive climate change agreement in Copenhagen' (COM(2009)0039),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication of 26 November 2008 entitled 'A European Economic Recovery Plan' (COM(2008)0800),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication of 22 November 2007 entitled 'A European strategic energy technology plan (SET-Plan) – Towards a low-carbon future' (COM(2007)0723),

–   having regard to Rule 103 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas negotiations on a comprehensive international agreement on climate change consistent with the objective of limiting global temperature increases to below 2ºC are due to be concluded in Copenhagen in December 2009,

B.   whereas recent studies show that there is potential for reducing global greenhouse emissions by 40 % by 2030 and that, at a cost of less than half of one percent of global GDP, wind, solar and other sustainable renewable energies could provide almost a third of total global power needs; whereas energy efficiency could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than a quarter and whereas deforestation could be almost halted,

C.   whereas an increasing number of scientists are recognising that avoiding dangerous climate change will require a stabilisation of the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at 350 ppmv CO2 equivalent, a level significantly lower than previously recommended,

D.   whereas the European Union will agree on its negotiating position at the Spring 2009 European Council,

E.   whereas the EU has striven to play a leading role in the fight against global warming and is fully supportive of the UNFCCC negotiation process,

F.   whereas the EU has adopted the above-mentioned climate and energy package consisting of legislative measures to implement a unilateral 20 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels by 2020, with the commitment to move to a 30 % reduction if a sufficiently ambitious international agreement is reached in Copenhagen,

G.   whereas emissions are growing rapidly in developing countries, which cannot reduce them without considerable technical and financial support,

H.   whereas deforestation and forest degradation account for some 20 % of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and also pose a major threat in the context of climate change since they jeopardise the important function of forests as a carbon sink; whereas deforestation occurs at an alarming rate of 13 million hectares per year, most of it in tropical regions in developing countries,

I.   whereas the EU emission trading scheme (EU ETS) may work as a template for the development of emission trading in other developed countries and regions,

J.   whereas half of the global mitigation efforts could be met through low-cost 'win-win' measures, i.e. by improving energy efficiency,

K.   whereas auctioning in emissions trading has the potential to generate a considerable amount of revenue in the future which could be used to finance mitigation and adaptation measures in developing countries,

L.   whereas the facilitation of financing for high-quality projects in developing countries, especially as regards small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), is dependent on a comprehensive, transparent and continuous flow of information regarding the availability of, and the means to apply for, funding; whereas this must be the responsibility of the international community, with the EU taking a leading role and setting a good example,

M.   whereas, according to recent estimates, new investment needed in emission reduction globally amounts to EUR 175 000 million by 2020, of which more than half should be invested in developing countries,

N.   whereas the Commission has estimated that halving deforestation by 2020 will cost EUR 15-25 000 million annually by that year, and that halting deforestation will require even larger amounts,

O.   whereas various studies by international organisations have estimated the cost of adaptation to climate change in developing countries to be in the range of tens of billions of euros annually,

1.  Underlines that the EU must maintain a leading role in international climate policy; stresses the importance of the EU speaking with one voice in order to maintain its credibility in this role;

2.  Calls for the EU to actively pursue a Copenhagen agreement which takes into account the most recent scientific reports on climate change, commits the parties to stabilisation levels and temperature targets that provide a strong probability of avoiding dangerous climate change, and allows for regular reviews to ensure that targets are in line with the latest science; welcomes the Commission's proposals in this area;

3.  Recalls that, in order to limit the global average temperature increase to not more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, it is necessary not only that developed countries significantly reduce their emissions but also that developing countries should contribute to the attainment of this objective;

4.  Points out that the reduction of emissions in developing countries below 'business as usual' levels will be instrumental in limiting the average global temperature increase to well below 2ºC and requires broad support from industrialised countries;

5.  Underlines that, in order to allow the necessary mitigation action in developing countries, significantly increased financial resources are needed;

6.  Emphasises the responsibility of industrialised countries for providing sufficient, sustainable and predictable financial and technical support to the developing countries to give them incentives to commit themselves to the reduction of their greenhouse gas emissions, to adapt to the consequences of climate change and to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as to enhance capacity-building in order to comply with obligations under the future international agreement on climate change; stresses that a majority of such funds must be new and additional to Official Development Assistance (ODA);

7.  Recalls its above-mentioned resolution of 4 February 2009 and in particular those parts devoted to the international dimension and to financing and budgetary matters, including the importance of setting for the EU and the other industrialised countries as a group a long-term reduction target of at least 80% by 2050 compared to 1990;

8.  Furthermore recalls its recommendation that certain principles adopted in the climate and energy package be used as blueprint for the international agreement, in particular the binding linear pathway for industrialised country commitments, differentiation on the basis of verified emissions, and a strengthened compliance regime with an annual abatement factor;

9.  Emphasises that, in the current financial and economic crisis, the EU's objective of fighting climate change can be combined with major new economic opportunities to develop new technologies, to create jobs and to enhance energy security; underlines that an agreement in Copenhagen could provide the necessary stimulus for such a 'Green New Deal' boosting economic growth, promoting green technologies and securing these new jobs in the EU and in developing countries;

10.  Calls for the European Council to aim for an international agreement with industrialised countries achieving collective greenhouse gas emissions reductions at the high end of the 25-40 % range as recommended by the Fourth Assessment Report by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 4AR), and for those reductions to be domestic;

11.  Is concerned about the lack of precision regarding the level of the EU's financial responsibility in the above-mentioned Commission Communication of 28 January 2009; calls on the European Council, when adopting a negotiating mandate for the Copenhagen conference, to make tangible commitments on financing that are consistent with the global efforts needed in order to limit the average temperature increase to well below 2°C;

12.  Believes that such commitments on financing should include, as provided for by the European Council in December 2008, a pledge by Member States to use a significant part of the auctioning revenues generated by the EU ETS to finance actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change in developing countries which will have ratified the international agreement on climate change, but stresses that as less than 50% of EU emissions are covered by emission trading it is necessary to include other sectors of the economy in the Member States when it comes to the effort of financing these important actions;

13.  Insists that such commitments must provide for predictable financing for mechanisms set up in the UNFCCC context which are additional to ODA and independent from annual budgetary procedures in the Member States;

14.  Welcomes the two alternatives for innovative funding outlined in the above-mentioned Commission Communication of 28 January 2009, as long as they are designed in a manner that guarantees sufficiently predictable levels of funding; furthermore agrees with the suggestion that this be combined with funding from auctioning for aviation and maritime transport under cap and trade systems;

15.  Welcomes the Commission's idea that part of the finance should be given in the form of loans because some activities can create a 'win-win' situation also in developing countries;

16.  Underlines that binding targets would enable investors to better assess the risks and opportunities associated with climate change and would involve investors in projects that would meet mitigation as well as adaptation targets; underlines, moreover, the need for clarity regarding the role of private capital in the investment necessary in order to reach the targets;

17.  However, considers it of the utmost importance to adopt a more comprehensive action plan on the future financing of climate policy, which would cover all relevant areas and sources of financing; regards the above-mentioned Commission Communication of 28 January 2009 as a good starting point for that work, but stresses that it must be strengthened with clearly defined measures; calls on the European Council to mandate the Commission to urgently develop such an action plan with a view to the Copenhagen negotiations;

18.  Believes that a large part of the collective contribution towards the mitigation efforts and adaptation needs of developing countries must be dedicated to projects which strive to halt deforestation and forest degradation, and to reforestation and afforestation projects in such countries;

19.  Welcomes the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) as a possible way to enable developing countries to participate in the carbon market; underlines that the use of offsets to meet emission reduction targets by industrialised countries cannot be part of the responsibility of developing countries to mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions in an international agreement on climate change; insists, therefore, that stringent project quality criteria must be part of future offsetting mechanisms, in order to avoid industrialised countries taking away the low-cost reduction options from developing countries, and in addition to guarantee the high standard of such projects, with reliable, verifiable and real emission reductions that also provide for sustainable development in such countries;

20.  Considers that the collective contribution by the EU towards developing countries' mitigation efforts and adaptation needs should not be less than EUR 30 000 million per annum by 2020, a figure that may increase as new knowledge is acquired concerning the severity of climate change and the scale of its costs;

21.  Underlines that large financial flows for mitigation efforts and adaptation needs in developing countries are only part of the solution; insists that the funds should be spent in a sustainable way, avoiding bureaucracy, in particular for SMEs, and corruption; stresses that the funding must be predictable, coordinated and transparent, building capacity within developing countries at both central and local level, giving priority to the people that face problems with climate change and not only the governments; stresses in this context the importance of continuous and easily accessible information on the funding available; calls on the Council and the upcoming Swedish Presidency to actively promote these principles during the UNFCCC COP15 negotiations in Copenhagen in December 2009;

22.  Calls on the Commission to abandon its previous resistance to the inclusion of forestry in emissions trading schemes; believes that both market and non-market based finance will be required to fund future 'Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation' (REDD) mechanisms under a post-2012 agreement; in this context, calls on the Commission and the Council to take the lead in developing pilot carbon markets for REDD; further calls on the Commission and the Council to elaborate on how market and non-market based forestry funds could complement each other;

23.  Believes that, with the EU leading the way in the provision of financial and technical support for developing countries, the chances of success in the Copenhagen negotiations will improve considerably; believes that it is necessary for the EU to show leadership in the area of finance by providing concrete negotiating figures at an early stage, in order to mobilise sufficient domestic public support, to encourage developing countries to adopt ambitious binding reduction targets, and to encourage other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries to contribute in a similar manner;

24.  Acknowledges the fact that the EU as a whole is on track to meet the Kyoto target but points out that some Member States are far away from their Kyoto target, and that this could undermine the credibility of the EU in the Copenhagen process; insists, therefore, that those Member States that are not already on track to meet the Kyoto target should intensify their efforts;

25.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the European Council, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Secretariat of the UNFCCC, with a request to the latter that it be forwarded to all contracting parties which are not EU Member States.

(1) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0610.
(2) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0611.
(3) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2009)0042.

Last updated: 2 December 2009Legal notice