Two months ahead of the COP15 meeting in Copenhagen in December, which is expected to finalise an international agreement on a framework for combating climate change for the period after 2012, MEPs called heads of state and government to give this matter top priority and demonstrate political leadership. They urged the EU to develop an external climate policy and to maintain a leading role in the COP 15 negotiations. The EU is expected to agree on a mandate at the Environmental Council on 21 October and the European Council on 29-30 October.
In a draft resolution, adopted by 55 votes to 1, with 3 abstentions, MEPs say the international agreement should ensure that:
- developed countries significantly reduce their emissions collectively (at the high end of the 25-40 % range by and a long-term reduction target of at least 80% by 2050 compared to 1990);
- developing countries as a group limit their emission growth to 15 - 30% below "business as usual";
- targets are reviewed every five years, to ensure they keep pace with the latest science and with the 2 °C-objective;
- the collective contribution by the EU towards developing countries' mitigation efforts and adaptation needs should not be less than €30,000 million per annum by 2020;
- both emission reduction targets and financing commitments need to be subject to a tougher compliance regime, including an early warning mechanism and penalties;
- stringent project quality standards must be part of future offsetting mechanisms, to prevent industrialised countries taking away the low-cost reduction options from developing countries and to guarantee reliable, verifiable and real emission reductions;
MEPs emphasise that an agreement in Copenhagen could stimulate a 'Sustainable New Deal' boosting economic growth, promoting environmentally sustainable technologies, reducing energy consumption and securing new jobs in both industrialised and developing countries.
Regarding the input of other developed countries to the Copenhagen conference, MEPs urge the USA to make the goals set during the election campaign binding, thereby sending a strong signal. They stress that it is also extremely important for India to make a contribution, they recognise Japan's commitment to reduce its emissions by 25% by 2020 and they welcome the positive signals from China in the light of these developments.
Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
In the chair: Jo LEINEN (S&D, DE)