Procedure : 2017/2620(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0534/2017

Texts tabled :

B8-0534/2017

Debates :

PV 03/10/2017 - 13

Votes :

PV 04/10/2017 - 9.13
CRE 04/10/2017 - 9.13

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0380

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 388kWORD 66k
25.9.2017
PE611.454v01-00
 
B8-0534/2017

further to Questions for Oral Answer B8‑0330/2017 and B8‑0329/2017

pursuant to Rule 128(5) of the Rules of Procedure


on the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany (COP23) (2017/2620(RSP))


Adina-Ioana Vălean on behalf of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
Peter Liese on behalf of the PPE Group
Gilles Pargneaux on behalf of the S&D Group
Julie Girling on behalf of the ECR Group
Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy on behalf of the ALDE Group
Estefanía Torres Martínez on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group
Marco Affronte on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
Piernicola Pedicini on behalf of the EFDD Group

European Parliament resolution on the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany (COP23) (2017/2620(RSP))  
B8‑0534/2017

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol thereto,

–  having regard to the Paris Agreement, Decision 1/CP.21 and the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UNFCCC, and the 11th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 11) held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015,

–  having regard to the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UNFCCC and the 8th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 8) held in Doha, Qatar, from 26 November to 8 December 2012 and to the adoption of an amendment to the Protocol establishing a second commitment period thereunder starting on 1 January 2013 and ending on 31 December 2020,

–  having regard to the opening for signature of the Paris Agreement at the UN Headquarters in New York on 22 April 2016, and to the fact that it remained open until 21 April 2017, that 195 states have signed the Paris Agreement, and that 160 states have deposited instruments for its ratification,

–  having regard to the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UNFCCC and the 1st Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1), held in Marrakech, Morocco, from 15 November to 18 November 2016,

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 October 2016 on the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the 2016 UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco (COP 22)(1),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 20 July 2016 entitled ‘Accelerating Europe’s transition to a low-carbon economy’ (COM(2016)0500),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 3 March 2010 entitled ‘Europe 2020: A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ (COM(2010)2020),

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 15 February 2016, 30 September 2016 and 23 June 2017,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 19 June 2017,

–  having regard to the submission on 6 March 2015 by Latvia and the European Commission on behalf of the European Union and its Member States to the UNFCCC of the intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) of the EU and its Member States,

–  having regard to the 5th Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and to its Synthesis Report,

–  having regard to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Synthesis Report of November 2016 entitled ‘The Emissions Gap Report 2016’ and to its Adaptation Gap Report 2016,

–  having regard to the Leaders’ Declaration adopted at the G7 Summit held at Schloss Elmau, Germany, from 7 to 8 June 2015, entitled ‘Think ahead. Act together’, in which the G7 leaders reiterated their intention to adhere to the commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40-70 % by 2050 compared with 2010 levels, with it being necessary to ensure that the reduction is closer to 70 % than 40 %,

–  having regard to the 2017 G7 Leaders’ Communiqué, and in particular the G7 Bologna Environment Ministers’ Communiqué,

–  having regard to the decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement announced by the President of the United States,

–  having regard to Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’,

–  having regard to the questions to the Council and the Commission on the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany (COP 23) (O‑0000068/2017 – B8‑0329/2017 and O‑000069/2017 – B8-0330/2017),

–  having regard to Rules 128(5) and 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016, with 160 of the 197 Parties to the Convention having deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the UN (as of 8 September 2017);

B.  whereas the July 2015 reform proposal for the emissions trading scheme (ETS) and the July 2016 climate package (covering effort sharing, land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) proposals and a European strategy for low-emission mobility) are the key instruments to deliver on these commitments and to reaffirm the EU’s position as a global leader in the fight against climate change;

C.  whereas the efforts to mitigate global warming should not be seen as an obstacle to striving for economic growth but should, on the contrary, be seen as a driving force for the realisation of new and sustainable growth and employment;

D.  whereas the most serious effects of climate change will be felt in developing countries, particularly in those least developed countries and developing small island states that have insufficient resources to prepare for and adjust to the changes occurring; whereas, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Africa is especially vulnerable to the challenge this poses and is particularly exposed to water stress, extremely violent weather events and food insecurity caused by drought and desertification;

E.  whereas climate change can increase competition for resources such as food, water and grazing land and exacerbate economic hardship and political instability, and could become the biggest driver of population displacements, both inside and across national borders, within the not too distant future; whereas the issue of climate migration should therefore be placed high on the international agenda;

F.  whereas on 6 March 2015 the EU submitted the INDC of the EU and its Member States to the UNFCCC, thus committing itself to a binding target of at least a 40 % domestic reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 compared with 1990 levels;

G.  whereas an ambitious climate mitigation policy can create growth and jobs; whereas, however, some specific sectors with a high carbon intensity and high trade intensity can suffer from carbon leakage if the ambition is not comparable in other markets; whereas appropriate protection against carbon leakage is therefore necessary to protect jobs in these specific sectors;

1.  Recalls that climate change is one of the most important challenges for humankind and that all states and all players worldwide need to do their utmost to limit the associated problems; underlines that the Paris Agreement is a major step in that direction, although much more still needs to be done;

Scientific basis for climate action

2.  Recalls that, according to the scientific evidence presented at the 2014 IPCC AR 5, warming of the climate system is unequivocal, climate change is occurring, and human activities have been the dominant cause of the warming observed since the middle of the 20th century; is concerned that widespread and substantial climate change impacts are already evident in natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans;

3.  Takes note of the global carbon budgets as presented by the IPCC in its 5th Assessment Report, and concludes that continuing with current levels of global GHG emissions will consume the remaining carbon budget consistent with limiting the rise in global average temperature to 1.5 °C within the next four years; stresses that all countries should accelerate the transition to zero GHG emissions and climate resilience, in accordance with the Paris Agreement, in order to avoid the worst impacts of global warming;

4.  Reiterates the importance of basing global climate action on best available science, and welcomes the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue preceding the UNFCCC 2020 deadline for resubmitting the 2030 nationally determined contributions (NDCs), as well as the first global stocktake in 2023, as offering the first opportunities to put this principle into action;

5.  Encourages dialogue between IPCC experts and parties while the results of the sixth assessment cycle are being prepared and published; welcomes, to this end, the decision to publish a special IPCC report in 2018 on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 ºC above pre-industrial levels and the related global GHG emission pathways;

Paris Agreement - ratification and implementation of commitments

6.  Welcomes the unprecedented pace of ratifications and the rapid entry into force of the Paris Agreement, as well as the global resolve to ensure its full and swift implementation, as expressed in the Marrakech Action Proclamation; urges all parties to ratify the agreement as soon as possible;

7.  Expresses its satisfaction at the fact that at COP 22 in Marrakech all parties committed to ongoing engagement on the basis of the Paris commitments, independently of changes in political circumstances;

8.  Expresses its disappointment with the announcement made by US President Donald Trump of his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement; regrets this decision as representing a step backwards; points out that the formal withdrawal can take effect at the earliest only after the next US presidential election in 2020; welcomes the strong responses from governments around the world and their continued and strengthened support for the full implementation of the Paris Agreement; notes with satisfaction the pledges made by some US states, cities and businesses to continue to uphold the US commitments under the Paris Agreement;

9.  Expresses its satisfaction that all major parties have confirmed their commitment to the Paris Agreement since President Trump’s announcement;

10.  Stresses that Europe must now take the lead in defending the Paris Agreement in order to secure the future of both our environment and our industries; welcomes the fact that the EU will strengthen existing partnerships and seek new alliances;

11  Points to the swift progress made so far in translating the EU’s international commitment into EU legislation establishing a robust 2030 climate and energy policy framework, and underlines its intention to conclude this legislative process by the end of 2017;

12.  Insists that, in particular after President Trump’s announcement, it is important to have appropriate provisions in place against carbon leakage and to ensure that companies that are among the best performers and that have a high carbon intensity and a high trade intensity will obtain the allowances they need for free; asks the Commission to examine the effectiveness and legality of additional measures to protect industries at risk of carbon leakage, for example a carbon border tax adjustment and consumption charge, in particular in respect of products coming from countries that do not fulfil their commitments under the Paris Agreement;

13.  Stresses that the commitments made under the Paris Agreement to limit the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 ºC above pre-industrial levels and to further pursue limiting the temperature increase to 1.5 ºC, as well as the aim of achieving a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of GHG (‘net zero emissions’) in the second half of this century, on the basis of equity, constitute a decisive breakthrough in the collective global effort towards a transition to a climate-resilient, climate-neutral global economy;

14.  Recalls that limiting the rise in global average temperature to well below 2 °C does not guarantee that significant adverse climate impacts will be avoided; acknowledges that current pledges are not yet sufficient to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement; stresses, therefore, that global GHG emissions should reach their peak as soon as possible and that all parties, especially all G20 nations, should step up their efforts and update their NDCs by 2020, following the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue; recalls that global carbon emissions need to be phased out by 2050; considers that putting in place policies and measures to fulfil and eventually exceed the NDCs should be a key domestic priority for all countries and that these should be reappraised every five years in line with the ambition mechanism in the Paris Agreement; recognises, nevertheless, that the stringency and level of ambition of domestic emission reduction strategies are not contingent on the submission of an updated NDC;

15.  Calls on all parties to ensure that their NDCs are consistent with long-term targets in line with the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement; stresses that work in the context of the IPCC Special Report on the 1.5 ºC impact and pathways, as well as the conclusions of the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue, should be taken into account; in this context, recalls the G7’s commitment to present mid-century, low GHG emission development strategies well ahead of the agreed 2020 deadline; expresses its readiness to participate fully in the development of the EU’s strategy on the basis of on the Commission’s analysis as announced in its ‘Road from Paris’ communication of 2 March 2016 (COM(2016)0110);

16.  Underlines the particular responsibility of all the major economies which together account for three quarters of the world’s emissions, and considers that climate action should continue to be a key topic in the G7 and G20, in particular in areas such as NDC implementation, mid-century strategies, fossil fuel subsidy reform, carbon disclosure, clean energy and others; underlines the need to continue ministerial engagement of major economies in fora such as the Clean Energy Ministerial;

17.  Calls for the EU to commit to further emission reductions in its NDC for 2030 following the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue;

18.  Stresses the importance of demonstrating the EU’s adherence to the Paris Agreement, inter alia by implementing the agreement through EU legislation, including swift adoption by the co-legislators of the EU Climate Action Regulation and the revision of the EU ETS Directive, as well as of ratcheting up the EU’s goals and policy instruments in a timely manner; recalls that all parties are invited to communicate to the UNFCCC secretariat, by 2020, mid-century, long-term, low GHG emission development strategies; urges the Commission, therefore, in order to adhere to the agreement’s obligation, to prepare by COP 24 a mid-century zero emissions strategy for the EU, providing a cost-efficient pathway towards reaching the net zero emissions goal adopted in the Paris Agreement with a view to keeping the global average temperature rise well below 2 °C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 °C; considers that this process should be initiated as early as possible in order to enable a comprehensive debate, in which the European Parliament should play a crucial role, in partnership with representatives of national, regional and local authorities, as well as civil society and the business sector; recalls, however, that to act at EU level alone will not be satisfactory, and therefore calls on the Commission and the Council to step up their activities to encourage other partners to do the same;

19.  Welcomes the Paris Agreement commitment to reduce global emissions to net zero during the second half of the century; recognises that this means that most sectors in the EU need to achieve zero emissions considerably earlier;

20.  Believes that negotiations should advance on the key elements of the Paris Agreement, including an enhanced transparency framework, details of the global stocktake, further guidance on INDCs, an understanding of differentiation, loss and damage, climate finance and capacity support, inclusive multi-level governance, and a mechanism to facilitate implementation and promote compliance; urges the Commission and the Member States to uphold the commitments agreed within the framework of the Paris Agreement, especially regarding the EU’s contribution to mitigation and adaptation, as well as its support in the areas of finance, technology transfer and capacity-building;

21.  Stresses that time is of the essence in the joint efforts to combat climate change and honour the Paris Agreement; underlines that the EU has both the capacity and the responsibility to lead by example and to start work immediately on aligning its climate and energy targets with the agreed international goal of limiting the increase in global average temperature to below 2 °C, while pursuing efforts to limit that increase to 1.5 °C;

22.  Recalls that early decarbonisation is necessary if this global average temperature target is to be met and that global GHG emissions must reach their peak as soon as possible; recalls that global emissions should be phased out by 2050 or shortly thereafter so as to keep the world on a cost-effective emission trajectory compatible with the temperature targets set out in the Paris Agreement; calls on all parties in a position to do so to pursue their national decarbonisation targets and strategies by prioritising the phasing out of emissions from coal, which is the most polluting source of energy, and calls for the EU to work with its international partners to that end, providing examples of good practice;

23.  Calls on all the Member States to ratify the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol;

COP 23 in Bonn

24.  Welcomes the commitment made in Marrakech to completing the work programme with a view to drawing up detailed implementing rules for the Paris Agreement by 2018; considers COP 23 a key milestone in this technical work;

25.  Looks forward to clarification of the structure of the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue during COP 23, which will be a key opportunity to take stock of the progress made towards the agreement’s mitigation goal and to inform the preparation and revision of the parties’ 2030 NDCs by 2020, in order to reach the goals of the agreement; believes that the EU should play a proactive role in this first facilitative dialogue so as to take stock of the collective ambition and progress in fulfilling the commitments; calls on the Commission and the Member States to submit, well in advance of the facilitative dialogue, further GHG reduction commitments that go beyond current commitments under the Paris Agreement and contribute suitably to closing the mitigation gap in line with EU capabilities;

26.  Recalls that increasing mitigation action in the pre-2020 period is an absolute prerequisite for achieving the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, and calls for the EU to ensure that near-term action remains on the COP 23 agenda;

Climate finance and other means of implementation

27.  Welcomes the ‘Roadmap to US $100 Billion’ for achieving the goal of mobilising USD 100 billion by 2020 for climate action in developing countries; underlines that the mobilisation goal has been continued until 2025 as agreed at COP 21;

28.  Welcomes the commitment of the parties to the Paris Agreement to making all financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low GHG emissions and climate-resilient development; considers, therefore, that the EU must tackle financial flows to fossil fuels and high-carbon infrastructure as a matter of urgency;

29.  Recognises the importance of addressing the loss and damage mechanism inserted in the Paris Agreement and strongly supports discussion of the mechanism as a separate pillar of climate action at COP 23 in Bonn;

30.  Stresses the importance of keeping human rights at the core of climate action, and insists that the Commission and the Member States ensure that the negotiations on adaptation measures recognise the need to respect, protect and promote human rights, encompassing inter alia gender equality, the full and equal participation of women, and the active promotion of a fair workforce transition that creates decent work and quality jobs for all;

31.  Welcomes the steadily increasing level of EU climate finance, but stresses that further efforts are needed; stresses the importance of ensuring that other developed parties meet their target contributions to the USD 100 billion goal; calls for concrete EU and international commitments to delivering additional sources of finance;

32.  Calls on governments and public and private financial institutions, including banks, pension funds and insurance firms, to make an ambitious commitment to aligning lending and investment practices with the global average temperature target of well below 2°C, in line with Article 2(1)(c) of the Paris Agreement, and divesting from fossil fuels, including by phasing out export credits for fossil fuel investments; calls for specific public guarantees to promote green investment and labels and offer fiscal advantages for green investment funds and the issuing of green bonds;

33.  Acknowledges that changes to national and international tax systems, including shifting the tax burden from labour to capital, applying the ‘polluter pays’ principle, divesting from fossil fuels and setting an appropriate carbon price, are essential in order to create an economic environment conducive to encouraging the public and private investment that will enable the realisation of sustainable development objectives under industrial policies;

34.  Encourages enhanced cooperation between developed and developing countries, including within the NDC Partnership, so that countries have more effective access to the technical knowledge and financial support necessary to put in place policies to fulfil and exceed their NDCs;

35.  Calls on the Commission to undertake a full evaluation of the possible consequences of the Paris Agreement for the EU budget and to develop a dedicated, automatic EU financing mechanism providing additional and adequate funding in order to ensure that the EU contributes its fair share of the USD 100 billion international climate finance goal;

36.  Calls for concrete commitments to delivering additional sources of climate finance, including by introducing a financial transaction tax, setting aside some EU ETS emission allowances in the period 2021-2030, and allocating revenue from EU and international measures on aviation and shipping emissions to international climate finance and the Green Climate Fund;

Role of non-state actors

37.  Highlights the efforts of an ever broader range of non-state actors to decarbonise and become more resilient to climate change; emphasises the importance, therefore, of a structured and constructive dialogue between governments, the business community, cities, regions, international organisations, civil society, and academic institutions, and of ensuring their involvement in planning and implementing scalable climate actions in order to promote robust and global action for the creation of low-carbon and resilient societies and demonstrate progress towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement;

38.  Calls for the EU and its Member States, together with other parties to the UNFCCC, to promote a process that actively involves non-state actors in negotiations for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, supports their efforts to contribute to fulfilling a state’s NDC despite national political transformations, and enables them to explore new forms of participation and association within the framework of the UNFCCC;

39.  Emphasises the important role of the Non-State Actors Zone for Climate Action (NAZCA) to promote and track action by non-state actors, such as the Global Covenant of Mayors, Mission Innovation, InsuResilience, Sustainable Energy for All and the NDC Partnership;

40.  Welcomes the efforts of the Climate Champions under the Marrakech Partnership for Climate Action;

41.  Calls for the EU and its Member States to work with all civil society actors (institutions, the private sector, NGOs and local communities) to develop reduction initiatives in key sectors (energy, technology, cities, transport), and adaptation and resilience initiatives in response to adaptation issues, particularly as regards access to water, food security and risk prevention; calls on all governments and civil society actors to support and strengthen this agenda for action;

42.  Reminds the UN and the parties to the UNFCCC that individual action is as important as the action of governments and institutions; calls, therefore, for a greater drive to organise campaigns and activities to raise awareness and inform the public about acts, whether small or large, that can contribute to combating climate change in developed and developing countries;

Comprehensive effort of all sectors

43.  Welcomes the development of emissions trading systems worldwide, including 18 emissions trading systems in operation across four continents, accounting for 40 % of global GDP; encourages the Commission to promote links between the EU ETS and other emissions trading systems, with the aim of creating international carbon market mechanisms so as to increase climate ambition while helping to reduce the risk of carbon leakage by levelling the playing field; calls on the Commission to establish safeguards to ensure that linking the EU ETS delivers permanent mitigation contributions and does not undermine the EU’s domestic GHG emissions target;

44.  Emphasises the need for more ambition and action in order to maintain sufficient incentives to achieve the GHG emission reductions required to reach the EU’s 2050 climate and energy targets; underlines that insufficient progress has been made in GHG emission reductions in the transport and agriculture sectors with respect to the 2020 targets, and that efforts need to be scaled up if these sectors are to meet their emission reduction contribution targets up to 2030;

45.  Stresses the importance of ensuring the environmental integrity of any future market approaches, both within and beyond the Paris Agreement, by considering risks such as loopholes enabling double counting, problems with regard to the permanence and additionality of emission reductions, potential negative effects for sustainable development, and perverse incentives for lowering ambition for the level of NDCs;

46.  Stresses that the 20-20-20 targets for GHG emissions, renewable energy and energy savings have played a key role in driving this progress and sustaining the employment of more than 4.2 million people in various eco-industries, with continuous growth recorded during the economic crisis;

47.  Takes note of the 2016 ICAO Assembly decision on the establishment of a Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA);

48.  Expresses its disappointment, however, at the fact that ICAO did not agree on emission reductions with the introduction of CORSIA, instead focusing mainly on offsets; regrets that the quality of the offsets is not at all guaranteed, that the application of CORSIA is only legally binding from 2027 onward, and that major members of ICAO have not yet committed to participating in the voluntary phase, while other major emitters have not committed to carbon neutral growth, which raises a large number of questions as to the real effect on the climate, since the result falls far short of the expectations the EU held when it decided to stop the clock on the EU ETS; calls for the swift finalisation of a robust set of rules for the operationalisation of CORSIA, for its timely implementation at national and regional level, and for its proper enforcement by all parties; calls, furthermore, for the enhancement of all technological innovation related to engine performance and fuel quality;

49.  Recalls that while intra-European flights will continue to be covered by the EU ETS, any changes to the existing legislation and the scheduled operationalisation of CORSIA can only be considered in the light of the system’s level of ambition and the implementing measures yet to be developed;

50.  Takes note of the roadmap for developing a ‘Comprehensive IMO strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships’ adopted at the 70th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO); urges the IMO to develop a global mechanism in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement by setting an ambitious emission reduction target and drawing up a concrete timetable, as part of the initial IMO GHG strategy to be adopted in spring 2018;

51.  Welcomes the Kigali amendment on a global phase-down of climate-warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs); considers that it represents a concrete step in delivering the Paris Agreement, which could avoid emissions of well over 70 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2050, which equals 11 times the annual emissions of the US, and hence encourages all parties to the Montreal Protocol to take all necessary steps towards its swift ratification; recalls that the EU has adopted ambitious legislation to phase down HFCs by 79 % by 2030, as climate-friendly alternatives are widely available and their potential should be fully exploited;

Climate resilience through adaptation

52.  Notes that the priorities of the Fiji Presidency for COP 23 include areas where adaptation and resilience actions feature prominently; recalls that adaptation action is an inevitable necessity for all countries if they are to minimise negative effects and make full use of the opportunities for climate-resilient growth and sustainable development;

53.  Calls for long-term adaptation objectives to be set accordingly; recalls that developing countries, in particular LDCs and small island developing states, which have contributed least to climate change, are the most vulnerable to its adverse effects and have the least capacity to adapt;

54.  Emphasises the need to truly integrate climate change adaptation into national development strategies, including financial planning, while improving coordination channels between different levels of governance and stakeholders; considers that coherence with disaster risk reduction strategies and plans is also important;

55.  Stresses the importance of assessing specifically the impacts of climate change on cities and their unique adaptation and mitigation challenges and opportunities; considers that reinforcing cities’ and local authorities’ ability to engage and work towards the resilience of their community is key to addressing the local dimension of climate change impacts;

56.  Considers that climate policies can enjoy sufficient support provided they are accompanied by social measures, including a fair transition fund to link the existing challenges presented by the fight against climate change with efforts to combat unemployment and precarious employment;

57.  Calls on the Commission to reassess the 2013 EU Adaptation Strategy in order to bring more focus and added value to the adaptation work at the overall EU level by strengthening the linkages with the Paris Agreement and supporting the further development of an effective sharing of good practices, examples and information on adaptation work; stresses the need to develop systems and tools to keep track of the progress and effectiveness of national adaptation plans and actions;

58.  Recalls that farmlands, wetlands and forest, which cover more than 90 % of the EU’s land surface, will be harshly affected by climate change; stresses that this sector – known as land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) – is both a sink and a source of emissions and is crucial for mitigation and enhancing resilience;

59.  Underlines the serious negative, and often irreversible, consequences of inaction, recalling that climate change affects all regions around the world in different but highly damaging ways, resulting in migration flows and loss of lives, as well as economic, ecological and social losses; stresses that a concerted global political and financial push for innovation in clean and renewable energy is crucial to meeting our climate goals and to facilitating growth;

60.  Acknowledges the many difficulties involved in establishing an accepted universal definition of ‘climate refugee’, but calls for serious recognition of the nature and extent of climate-induced displacement and migration resulting from disasters caused by global warming; notes with concern that between 2008 and 2013 some 166 million people were forced to leave their homes because of natural disasters, rising sea levels, extreme weather phenomena, desertification, water shortages, and the spread of tropical and vector-borne diseases; recalls in particular that climate-related developments in parts of Africa and the Middle East could contribute to political instability, economic hardship and an escalation of the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean;

61.  Notes that deforestation and forest degradation are responsible for 20 % of global GHG emissions, and emphasises the role of forests and active sustainable forest management in climate change mitigation and the need to enhance the adaptive capacities and resilience of forests to climate change; emphasises the need for mitigation efforts focused on the tropical forest sector (REDD+); stresses that the goal of limiting global warming to below 2 °C is likely to prove impossible without these mitigation efforts; calls furthermore for the EU to scale up international financing for reducing deforestation in developing countries;

Support for developing countries

62.  Emphasises the importance of the role developing countries also play in attaining the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the need to help those countries implement their climate plans, fully exploiting the synergies with the relevant Sustainable Development Goals of the climate measures implemented, the Addis Ababa Action Plan and Agenda 2030;

63.  Stresses the need to promote universal access to sustainable energy in developing countries, in particular in Africa, through the enhanced deployment of renewable energy; points out that Africa has huge natural resources that can safeguard its energy security; stresses that, ultimately, if electricity interconnections were successfully established, part of Europe’s energy could come from Africa;

64.  Stresses that the EU has the experience, capacity and global reach to be the leader in building the smarter, cleaner and more resilient infrastructure needed to deliver the global transition set in motion by the Paris Agreement; calls for the EU to support developing countries’ efforts in the transition towards low-carbon societies which are more inclusive, socially and environmentally sustainable, prosperous and safer;

Industry and competitiveness

65.  Welcomes the continued efforts of and the progress made by European industry in meeting its obligations and taking full advantage of the opportunities arising from the Paris Agreement, which can result in successful and cost-effective climate action;

66.  Underlines that combating climate change is a global priority and should be pursued as a truly worldwide effort while ensuring energy security and a sustainable economy;

67.  Stresses that a stable and predictable legal framework and clear policy signals at both EU and global level would facilitate and enhance climate-related investment;

68.  Underlines that continued commitment, especially on the part of key global emitters, is crucial for climate action and the Paris Agreement; deeply regrets the announcement by the US administration regarding its stance on the Paris Agreement; strongly welcomes, however, the continued support of major US industries that clearly understand the risks of climate change and the opportunities arising from climate action;

69.  Considers that, should other major economies fail to make commitments comparable with those of the EU on GHG emissions reductions, it will be necessary to maintain carbon leakage provisions, particularly those aimed at sectors exposed to both a high trade intensity and a high share of carbon costs in production, in order to ensure the global competitiveness of European industry;

70.  Welcomes the fact that China and other major competitors of the EU’s energy-intensive industries are introducing carbon trading or other pricing mechanisms; considers that, until a level playing field is achieved, the EU should maintain adequate and proportionate measures to ensure the competitiveness of its industry and prevent carbon leakage where needed, taking into consideration that energy, industry and climate policies go hand in hand;

71.  Underlines the importance of increasing the numbers of skilled workers in industry and promoting knowledge and best practices for stimulating the creation of quality jobs, while supporting a fair transition for the workforce where necessary;

Energy policy

72.  Calls for the EU to push the international community to adopt without delay concrete measures, including a timetable, for progressively phasing out environmentally harmful subsidies, including for fossil fuels, which distort competition, discourage international cooperation and hinder innovation;

73.  Stresses the importance of energy savings, energy efficiency and renewable energy for reducing emissions, as well as for financial savings, energy security and preventing and alleviating energy poverty in order to protect and help vulnerable and poor households; calls for the global promotion of energy efficiency and savings measures and the development of renewables (e.g. by stimulating self-production and consumption of renewable energy sources) as well as their effective deployment; recalls that prioritisation of energy efficiency and global leadership in renewables are two of the main goals of the EU’s Energy Union;

74.  Underlines the importance of developing energy storage technologies, smart grids and demand response that will contribute to strengthening the effective deployment of renewable energy in power generation and the household heating and cooling sectors;

Research, innovation and digital technologies

75.  Underlines the fact that continued and reinforced research and innovation in the areas of climate change mitigation, adaptation policies, resource efficiency, low-emission technologies and sustainable use of secondary raw material (‘circular economy’) hold the key to fighting climate change in a cost-effective way, as well as reducing dependence on fossil fuels; calls, therefore, for global commitments to boost and focus investment in this area;

76.  Stresses that advances in the technologies necessary for decarbonisation will call for clear policy signals, including the reduction of market and regulatory barriers to new technologies and business models, as well as well-targeted public expenditure;

77.  Recalls that research, innovation and competitiveness are among the five pillars of the EU’s Energy Union strategy; notes that the EU is determined to remain a global leader in these fields, while at the same time developing close scientific cooperation with international partners; stresses the importance of building and maintaining a strong innovation capacity in both developed and emerging countries for the deployment of clean and sustainable energy technologies;

78.  Recalls the fundamental role of digital technologies in facilitating the energy transition, creating new sustainable business models and improving energy efficiency and savings; stresses the environmental benefits that the digitalisation of European industry can bring through the efficient use of resources and the reduction of material intensity;

79.  Underlines the importance of making full use of existing EU programmes and instruments such as Horizon 2020 which are open to third-country participation, especially in the fields of energy, climate change and sustainable development;

80.  Calls for better use of technologies such as space satellites for accurate collection of data on emissions, temperature and climate change; points in particular to the contribution of the Copernicus programme; also calls for transparent cooperation and information-sharing between countries and openness of data for the scientific community;

Climate diplomacy

81.  Strongly supports the continued focus of the EU on climate diplomacy, which is essential for raising the profile of climate action in partner countries and global public opinion; stresses the need to maintain climate change as a strategic priority in diplomatic dialogues, taking into account the latest developments and the changing geopolitical landscape; underlines the fact that the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Member States have an enormous foreign policy capacity and must show leadership in climate fora; stresses that ambitious and urgent climate action, together with the implementation of COP 21 commitments, must remain one of the EU’s priorities in high-level bilateral and bi-regional dialogues with partner countries, the G7, the G20, the UN and other international fora;

82.   Reiterates its view that climate policy objectives be placed at the centre of the EU’s foreign policy efforts and global agenda; urges the EU and the Member States to demonstrate leadership in global climate action by continuous commitment to the Paris Agreement and by actively reaching out to strategic partners, at both national and subnational level, in order to form or strengthen climate alliances so as to maintain the momentum towards an ambitious climate protection regime;

83.  Urges the EU and the Member States to work towards achieving a broader awareness, analysis and management of climate risks, and to support the EU’s partners around the world in their efforts to better understand, integrate, anticipate and manage the impacts of climate change on domestic stability, international security and the displacement of people;

84.  Commits itself to using its international role and membership of international parliamentary networks to consistently seek progress towards the swift implementation of the Paris Agreement;

Role of the European Parliament

85.  Believes, since Parliament must give its consent to international agreements and plays a central role in the domestic implementation of the Paris Agreement as co-legislator, it needs to be well integrated into the EU delegation; expects, therefore, that it be allowed to attend EU coordination meetings in Bonn and be guaranteed access to all preparatory documents from the moment negotiations begin;

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86.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Secretariat of the UNFCCC, with the request that it be circulated to all non-EU parties.

 

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Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0383.

Last updated: 28 September 2017Legal notice