Procedure : 2015/2112(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0275/2015

Texts tabled :

A8-0275/2015

Debates :

PV 14/10/2015 - 14
CRE 14/10/2015 - 14

Votes :

PV 14/10/2015 - 15.8
CRE 14/10/2015 - 15.8

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2015)0359

REPORT     
PDF 382kWORD 205k
30 September 2015
PE 557.269v03-00 A8-0275/2015

on Towards a new international climate agreement in Paris

(2015/2112(INI))

Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

Rapporteur: Gilles Pargneaux

(*)  Associated committees – Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy(*)
 OPINION of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Transport and Tourism
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on Towards a new international climate agreement in Paris

(2015/2112(INI))

The European Parliament,

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

–    having regard to the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the UNFCCC and the 5th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 5), held in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 7 to 18 December 2009, and to the Copenhagen Accord,

–    having regard to the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the UNFCCC and the 6th Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 6), held in Cancún, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010, and to the Cancun Agreements,

–    having regard to the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UNFCCC and the 7th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 7) held in Durban, South Africa, from 28 November to 9 December 2011, and in particular to the decisions encompassing the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action,

–    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 the Doha Climate Gateway,

–    having regard to the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP 19) to the UNFCCC and the 9th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 9) held in Warsaw, Poland, from 11 to 23 November 2013, and to the establishment of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage,

–    having regard to the 20th Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the UNFCCC and the 10th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 10) held in Lima, Peru, from 1 to 12 December 2014, and to the Lima Call for Climate Action,

–    having regard to the 21th 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) to be held in Paris, France, from 30 November to 11 December 2015,

–    having regard to its resolutions of 25 November 2009 on the EU strategy for the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change (COP 15)(1), of 10 February 2010 on the outcome of the COP 15(2), of 25 November 2010 on the Climate Change Conference in Cancun (COP 16)(3), of 16 November 2011 on the Climate Change Conference in Durban (COP 17)(4), of 22 November 2012 on the Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar (COP 18)(5), of 23 October 2013 on the Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, Poland (COP 19)(6) and of 26 November 2014 on the Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru (COP 20)(7),

–   having regard to the EU Climate and Energy Package of December 2008,

–    having regard to the Commission Green Paper of 27 March 2013 on a 2030 framework for climate and energy policies (COM(2013)0169),

–    having regard to Directive 2008/101/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to include aviation activities in the scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community(8),

–    having regard to its resolutions of 4 February 2009 entitled ‘2050: The future begins today – Recommendations for the EU’s future integrated policy on climate change’(9), of 15 March 2012 on a roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050(10) and of 5 February 2014 on a 2030 framework for energy and climate policies(11),

–    having regard to the Commission communication of 25 February 2015, as part of the Energy Union Package, entitled ‘The Paris Protocol – A blueprint for tackling global climate change beyond 2020’ (COM(2015)0081),

–    having regard to the EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change of April 2013 and its accompanying Staff Working Paper,

–    having regard to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Synthesis Report of November 2014 entitled ‘The Emissions Gap Report 2014’ and the UNEP Adaptation Gap Report 2014,

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

–    having regard to the World Bank reports entitled ‘Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4 °C Warmer World Must be Avoided’, ‘Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience’ and ‘Climate Smart Development: Adding up the Benefits of Climate Action’,

–    having regard to the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate report entitled ‘Better Growth, Better Climate: The New Climate Economy Report’,

–    having regard to the encyclical Laudato Si’;

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

–    having regard to the submission of 6 March 2015 by Latvia and the European Commission to the UNFCCC of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) of the EU and its Member States,

–    having regard to the New York Declaration on Forests at the UN Climate Summit in September 2014,

–    having regard to the Commission communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on addressing the challenges of deforestation and forest degradation to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss,

–    having regard to the European Council conclusions of 23 and 24 October 2014,

–    having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–    having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the opinions of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Development and the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A8-0275/2015),

A.  whereas climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible global threat to human societies and the biosphere and must thus be addressed at international level by all Parties;

B.   whereas according to the scientific evidence presented in the 2014 IPCC AR5, warming of the climate system is unequivocal; climate change is occurring and human activities are the dominant cause of observed warming since the middle of the 20th century; the widespread and substantial climate change impacts are already evident in natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans;

C.  whereas the EU decreased its emissions by 19 % between 1990 and 2013 in the scope of the Kyoto Protocol, while growing its GDP by more than 45 %; whereas global emissions increased by more than 50 % between 1990 and 2013;

D.  whereas according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s latest results, for the first time since measurements began, the monthly global average concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surpassed 400 parts per million in March 2015;

E.   whereas the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Adaptation Gap Report 2014 highlights the enormous costs of inaction and concludes that the cost of adapting to climate change in developing countries is likely to reach two to three times the previous estimates of USD 70-100 billion per year by 2050, leading to a significant adaptation funding gap after 2020 unless new and additional finance for adaptation is made available;

F.   whereas the climate-finance challenge is inextricable from the wider challenges of financing sustainable global development;

G.  whereas climate change can enhance competition for resources, such as food, water and grazing lands, and could become the biggest driver of population displacements, both inside and across national borders, within the not too distant future;

H.  whereas at the Doha Climate Change Conference in December 2012 the Parties adopted an amendment to the Protocol establishing a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol starting on 1 January 2013 and ending on 31 December 2020, with legally binding emission-reduction commitments, the inclusion of a new gas (nitrogen trifluoride), an ‘ambition mechanism’ providing for a simplified procedure for allowing a Party to adjust its commitment by increasing its ambition during a commitment period, and, finally, a provision which automatically adjusts a Party’s target to prevent an increase in its emissions for the period 2013 to 2020 beyond its average emissions for the years 2008 to 2010;

I.    whereas the Parties to the UNFCCC decided at COP 18 (Decision 23/CP.18) to adopt a goal of gender balance in bodies established pursuant to the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, in order to improve women’s participation and ensure a more effective climate change policy that addresses the needs of women and men equally and to keep track of progress made towards the goal of gender balance in advancing gender-sensitive climate policy;

J.    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 in the realisation of new and sustainable economic growth and employment;

K.  whereas the EU has thus far played a leading role in the efforts to mitigate global warming and must continue to do so in the run-up to a new international climate agreement in Paris at the end of 2015;

Urgency to act at the global level

1.   Recognises the extraordinary scale and seriousness of the threats induced by climate change, and is extremely concerned that the world is far from being on track to limit global warming to below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels; calls on governments to take, without delay, binding and concrete measures against climate change and towards an ambitious and legally binding global agreement in Paris 2015 in order to meet this target; welcomes therefore the encyclical Laudato Si’;

2.   Notes that, in line with the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report findings, the global carbon budget available after 2011, if there is to be a likely chance of keeping the rise in global average temperature below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, is 1010 gigatonnes of CO2; emphasises that all countries need to contribute and that delaying action will increase costs and reduce options; underlines the findings of the New Climate Economy report ‘Better Growth, Better Climate’ that countries at all levels of income have the opportunity to build lasting economic growth at the same time as reducing the immense risks of climate change; recommends that agreements and conventions should aim at involving EU accession countries in the EU’s climate programmes;

3.   Recalls that limiting the rise in global temperature to an average of 2 °C does not guarantee that significant adverse climate impacts will be avoided; calls on the Conference of the Parties to assess the possibility of limiting the rise in global temperature to an average of 1.5 °C;

4.   Notes the findings of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report concluding that even the full cessation of carbon emissions from the industrialised countries will not ensure the achievement of the below 2 °C target without significant new commitments by developing countries;

5.   Considers it essential that all countries submit their INDCs without further delay, so as to create a ripple effect and demonstrate that all countries are moving in the same direction, in accordance with their national situations; considers that the INDCs could also include adaptation measures, since these constitute a priority for a great many countries;

6.   Acknowledges the fundamental importance of a stable climate system for food security, energy production, water and sanitation, infrastructure, the preservation of biodiversity and terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and peace and prosperity globally; recalls that climate change is accelerating the loss of biodiversity;

7.   Welcomes the G7 commitment to decarbonise the global economy over the course of this century and to transform the energy sector by 2050; recalls however that decarbonisation is needed earlier in order to be in line with scientific findings and to have a likely chance of staying below 2 °C; calls on the Parties in a position to do so to deliver on implementing their national decarbonisation targets and strategies by prioritising the phasing-out of emissions from coal, which is the most polluting source of energy;

8.   Points out that countries lacking the necessary capacities for drawing up their national contributions can benefit from support mechanisms such as the Global Environment Facility, the UN Development Programme and the Global Climate Change Alliance, as well as from European support;

An ambitious, global, legally binding agreement

9.   Emphasises that the 2015 Protocol must be legally binding and ambitious from the outset when adopted in Paris, and should aim at phasing out global carbon emissions by 2050 or shortly thereafter so as to keep the world on a cost-effective emission trajectory compatible with the below 2 °C target, and that a global GHG emissions peak will be reached as soon as possible; calls for the EU to work with its international partners to that end, showing examples of good practice; underlines that the agreement must provide a predictable framework which encourages investments and scaling by business of efficient carbon reductions and adaptation technologies;

10. Warns against aiming for global emission reduction pathways that allow for significant carbon emissions in 2050 and beyond, as this would carry great risks and require reliance on unproven, energy intensive and costly technologies to remove and store CO2 from the atmosphere; depending on the level of the overshoot, the ability of such emission reduction pathways to maintain climate change below 2 °C depends on the availability and widespread deployment of biomass energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and afforestation without plausible land availability, as well as the use of other unknown, yet to be developed, carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies;

11. Believes that an ambitious and legally binding international agreement would help to address the carbon leakage and competitiveness concerns of the relevant sectors and in particular the energy intensive sector;

12. Considers that in case of a gap between the level of ambition of the aggregate effect of the INDCs submitted before Paris and the necessary level of GHG reduction required to keep temperatures below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, it will be necessary to draw up a work programme to start in 2016 in order to set out the additional reduction measures; calls for a comprehensive review process which will be conducted every five years, will ensure the dynamism of the implemented mechanism and will reinforce the level of ambition of reduction commitments in accordance with the most recent scientific data; calls on the Parties to support five-year commitment periods as the most appropriate choice so as to avoid locking into a low level of ambition, increase political accountability and allow for revision of targets to match scientific adequacy or any new technical progress that could enable a greater level of ambition;

13. Calls for general reinvigoration of the EU’s climate policy, which would help build momentum in international climate discussions and would be in line with the upper limit of the EU’s commitment to reducing its GHG emissions to 80-95 % below 1990 levels by 2050; notes the binding EU 2030 GHG emission reduction target of at least 40 % relative to 1990 levels; calls on the Member States to consider complementary commitments that build on the agreed 2030 target, including action outside of the EU, in order to enable the world to achieve the below 2 °C target;

14. Recalls its resolution of 5 February 2014 which calls for three binding targets: an energy efficiency target of 40 %, a renewables target of at least 30 % and a GHG reduction target of at least 40 %, and calls again on the Council and the Commission to adopt and implement, as part of the EU’s 2030 framework for climate and energy policies, a multi-faceted approach based on mutually reinforcing, coordinated and coherent targets for a reduction in GHG emissions, the expansion of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency; notes that the targets for energy efficiency and renewables as called for by Parliament would lead to significantly higher GHG reductions than 40 % by 2030;

15. Underlines the need for an effective compliance regime applicable to all Parties under the 2015 agreement; emphasises that the 2015 agreement must promote transparency and accountability through a common rules-based regime including accounting rules and monitoring, reporting and verification arrangements; considers that the transparency and accountability system should develop within the framework of a progressive convergence approach;

16. Stresses the importance of maintaining human rights at the core of climate action, and insists that the Commission and the Member States ensure that the Paris Agreement will contain the provisions needed to tackle the human rights dimension of climate change and provide support for poorer countries whose capacities are strained by climate change impacts; insists, in this context, on the full respect for the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change;

Pre-2020 ambition and the Kyoto Protocol

17. Places particular emphasis on the urgent need for progress in closing the gigatonne gap which exists between the scientific analysis and the current Parties’ pledges for the period up to 2020; emphasises the important role of other policy measures, to which a collective effort should be dedicated, including energy efficiency, substantial energy savings, renewable energy, resource efficiency, the phase-out of HFCs, sustainable production and consumption, the phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies, including export finance for coal plant technology, and the strengthening of the role of widespread pricing of carbon in contributing to closing the gigatonne gap;

18. Notes that the EU is now well on track to meet the 2020 targets for GHG emission reduction and renewable energy, and that significant improvements have been made as regards energy intensity thanks to more efficient buildings, products, industrial processes and vehicles, while the European economy has grown by 45 % since 1990; 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(12), with continuous growth during the economic crisis;19.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to submit the latest EU GHG emission projections for the period up to 2020 to the UNFCCC and to announce that the EU will overachieve its 2020 GHG emission reduction target by at least 2 gigatonnes;

20. Clarifies that, although the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol will be limited in its extent, it should be seen as a very important interim step, and therefore calls on the Parties, including the EU Member States, to complete the ratification process as soon as possible and in any case before December 2015; notes that Parliament completed its part by giving its consent, and that the inclusion of civil society and transparency is necessary to help understand the negotiations and to build trust among all the Parties ahead of the Paris Conference;

Agenda of solutions

21. Calls on the EU and its Member States to work with all civil society actors (institutions, private sector, NGOs and local communities) to develop reduction initiatives in key sectors (energy, technology, cities, transportation, etc.), as well as 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;

22. Highlights that an ever-broader range of non-state actors are taking action to decarbonise and become more resilient to climate change; emphasises therefore the importance of a structured and constructive dialogue between governments, the business community, cities, regions, international organisations, civil society and academic institutions in order to mobilise robust global action towards low-carbon and resilient societies; emphasises their role in creating momentum ahead of Paris and for the ‘Lima-Paris Action Agenda’; indicates, in this respect, that the Lima-Paris Action Plan encourages those that are organising initiatives to speed up their work and attend the Paris Conference to report on their initial results;

23. Encourages the establishment of mechanisms that will encourage this dynamic of solutions, such as labelling of innovative civil society projects;

24. Notes that the bioeconomy has the potential to substantially contribute to re-industrialisation and the creation of new jobs in the EU and the rest of the world;

25. Highlights that efforts to create a circular economy can play a significant part in achieving the targets, by discouraging food waste and recycling raw materials;

26. Reminds the Parties and the UN itself that individual action is as important as the actions of governments and institutions; calls therefore for a request for campaign efforts and actions to raise awareness and inform the public about the small and large gestures that can contribute to combating climate change in developed and developing countries;

27. Calls also for businesses to accept and actively exercise their responsibilities and actively support the climate agreement, including in advance;

Comprehensive effort of all sectors

28. Welcomes the development of emissions trading systems globally, including 17 emissions trading systems that are in operation across four continents, accounting for 40 % of global GDP helping to reduce global emissions in a cost-effective manner; 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 and at the same time help reduce the risk of carbon leakage by levelling the playing field; calls on the Commission, however, to establish safeguards to ensure that linking the EU ETS to other systems does not undermine EU climate targets and the scope of the EU ETS; calls for rules to be drawn up for their establishment, including rules for accounting and ensuring that international markets and links between domestic carbon markets deliver permanent mitigation contributions and do not undermine EU domestic reduction targets;

29. Stresses the need to ensure long-term price stability for emissions allowances and a predictable regulatory environment which directs investment towards measures to reduce GHG emissions and fosters the transition to a low-carbon economy;

30. Calls for an agreement that covers sectors and emissions in a comprehensive manner and sets economy-wide absolute targets combined with emissions budgets, which should ensure the highest possible level of ambition; stresses that, in line with the IPCC’s findings, land use (agricultural, livestock, forest and other land use) has significant cost-effective potential for mitigation and enhancing resilience, and that international cooperation therefore needs to be strengthened to optimise the carbon capture potential of forests and wetlands; highlights that the agreement should set a comprehensive accounting framework for emissions and removals from land (LULUCF); underlines in particular that mitigation and adaptation actions in the allocation of land area must strive to pursue common objectives and not harm other sustainable development objectives;

31. Notes that deforestation and forest degradation are responsible for 20 % of global GHG emissions, and emphasises the role of forests in climate change mitigation and the need to enhance the adaptive capacities and resilience of forests to climate change; calls on the EU to pursue its objective of halting global forest loss by 2030 and to at least halve tropical deforestation by 2020, compared with 2008 levels; underlines that achieving these commitments together with restoring 350 million hectares of forests, as called for in the New York Declaration on Forests, could reduce CO2 emissions by 4.5-8.8 billion tons per year by 2030; emphasises that without significant new mitigation efforts focused on the tropical forest sector (REDD+) the achievement of the below 2 °C target is likely to be impossible; calls furthermore for the EU to scale up international finance for reducing deforestation in developing countries;

32. Notes the effectiveness of the existing REDD+ mitigation mechanism and encourages the Member States to include it in any climate change mitigation efforts; calls on the Member States to enter into voluntary international mitigation partnerships with developing countries particularly affected by tropical deforestation, with a view to providing financial or technical assistance to stop deforestation by means of sustainable land use policies or governance reforms; calls moreover on the Commission to propose robust measures to stop the import into the EU of goods derived from illegal deforestation; underlines the role of businesses in eliminating the demand for commodities resulting from illegal deforestation;

33. Recalls that transport is the second biggest GHG emitting sector, and insists on the need to put a range of policies in place aimed at lowering emissions from this sector; reiterates the need for the UNFCCC Parties to act to effectively regulate and cap emissions from international aviation and shipping, in line with adequacy and urgency requirements; calls for all the Parties to work through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to develop a global policy framework to enable an effective response, and to take measures to set adequate targets before the end of 2016 for achieving the necessary reductions in the light of the 2 °C target;

34. Invites the Commission to offer its support and expertise to the parties of the COP 21 Conference in establishing their national contributions, while raising awareness as to the role of the transport sector in adopting comprehensive strategies for reducing GHG emissions;

35. Points out that both short- and long-term transport mitigation strategies are essential if deep GHG reduction ambitions are to be achieved;

36. Highlights the importance of taking account of the specific situation of island and outermost regions, in order to ensure that environmental performance does not affect mobility and accessibility in these regions in particular;

37. Believes that without a greater focus on reducing emissions from the transport sector, the overall climate targets will be impossible to reach, as transport is the only sector where greenhouse gas emissions have continued to grow (by 30 % over the last 25 years); stresses that this can be achieved only through binding GHG reduction targets, together with the full integration of renewables into the market, a technologically neutral approach to decarbonisation, and a more fully integrated transport and investment policy that incorporates modal shift policies together with technological advancement and transport avoidance (e.g. through sustainable logistics, smart urban planning and integrated mobility management);

38. Points out that more than half of the world’s population now lives in towns and cities and that urban transport is a major contributor to GHG emissions from the transport sector; urges the Commission and the Member States, therefore, to actively raise awareness of the role of sustainable urban mobility in achieving mitigation commitments; emphasises that responsible land use and planning and sustainable transport solutions in urban areas contribute efficiently to the aim of reducing CO2 emissions;

39. Stresses that a good energy mix is necessary in the transport sector and can be achieved by promoting alternative vehicles running with natural gas and biogas and all policies aimed at strengthening sustainable modes of transport, including the electrification of transport and the use of intelligent transport systems; stresses the need to focus on railways, trams, electrified buses, electric cars and e-bicycles, to incorporate the entire lifecycle perspective, and to aim at fully exploiting renewable energy sources; strongly encourages local public transport authorities and transport operators to become frontrunners in introducing low-carbon fleets and technologies;

40. Highlights the huge potential for reducing emissions through increased energy efficiency and clean energy deployment; considers that maximising the efficiency of energy use worldwide is the first step towards reducing energy-related emissions while also contributing to the challenge of alleviating energy poverty;

41. 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 losses of lives, as well as economic, ecological and social losses; highlights the importance of scientific evidence as a driver of long-term policy decisions and that ambition should be based on solid scientific recommendations; stresses that a concerted global political and financial push for research, development and innovation activities in clean and renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency is crucial to meeting our climate goals and to facilitating growth;

42. Calls for the EU to step up efforts to regulate a global HFC phase-down under the Montreal Protocol; 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; notes that phasing down the use of HFCs represents a low-hanging fruit for mitigating actions in and outside the EU, and calls for the EU to be actively engaged in facilitating global action on HFCs;

Scientific research, technological development and innovation

43. Believes that the increased deployment of clean energy technologies where they have the greatest impact is dependent on building and maintaining a strong innovation capacity both in developed and emerging countries;

44. Underlines that stimulating innovation in technologies and business models can drive both economic growth and emission reduction; stresses that technology will not automatically advance in a low-carbon direction, but will require clear policy signals, including reducing market and regulatory barriers to new technologies and business models, and well-targeted public expenditure; encourages the Member States to increase investment in public research and development in the energy sector to help create the next wave of resource-efficient, low-carbon technologies;

45. Recognises the importance of research and innovation in combating climate change, and calls on the Parties to spare no effort in supporting researchers and promoting the new technologies that can help attain the reduction targets which may be set, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation measures;

46. Encourages the Commission to better take advantage of the fact that Horizon 2020 is fully open to third-country participation, especially in the fields of energy and climate change;

47. Considers that EU space policy and investment therein, including the launch of satellites, which play an important role in monitoring industrial accidents, deforestation, desertification etc., plus collaboration with partners in third countries, can play a major role in monitoring and addressing the effects of climate change worldwide;

48. Stresses that the EU should increase its efforts as regards technology transfer for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) while respecting existing intellectual property rights;

49. Requests that the roles of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) and the Technology Executive Committee in facilitating technological development for climate change mitigation and adaption are fully recognised and supported;

50. Welcomes the efforts made as regards cooperation between the EU and the United States’ Department of Energy, particularly in terms of climate change technology research; considers that there is much potential for further research cooperation between the EU and other major economies; stresses that the results of publicly funded research should be made freely available;

51. Points out that the use of space-based assets should be considered in the implementation of measures aimed at mitigating and adapting to climate change, particularly through the monitoring and surveillance of GHG emissions; urges the Commission to actively contribute to a global monitoring system for CO2 and CH4; calls on the Commission to promote efforts towards developing an EU system of measuring GHG emissions in an autonomous and non-dependent manner, using and expanding the missions of the Copernicus programme;

Climate finance: cornerstone of the Paris Agreement

52. Considers that means of implementation – including climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building – will play an essential role in finding an agreement at the Paris Conference, and therefore urges the EU and other countries to prepare a credible ‘financial package’, covering both pre-2020 and post-2020 periods, in order to support greater efforts for GHG reduction, forest protection and adaptation to climate change impacts; calls for climate finance to be included in the agreement as a dynamic element that reflects the changing environmental and economic realities and supports the enhanced ambition of mitigation contribution and adaptation actions; calls therefore on all the Parties in a position to do so to contribute to climate finance;

53. Requests that the EU and its Member States agree on a roadmap for scaling up predictable, new and additional finance, in line with existing commitments, towards their fair share in the overall targeted amount of USD 100 billion a year by 2020 from a variety of public and private sources and to address the imbalance between resources flowing to mitigation and adaptation; calls for the EU to encourage all countries to deliver their fair share of climate finance; calls for a robust monitoring and accountability framework for effective follow-up to the implementation of climate-finance commitments and objectives; recalls that, as climate finance from aid budgets increases, the overall aid budget should also increase as a first step towards full additionality;

54. Calls for concrete EU and international commitments to deliver additional sources of climate finance, including setting aside some EU ETS emission allowances in the 2021-2030 period and allocating revenues from EU and international measures on aviation and shipping emissions for international climate finance and the Green Climate Fund, inter alia technological innovation projects;

55. Calls for broad-based pricing of carbon as a globally applicable instrument for managing emissions and the allocation of emissions trading revenues to climate-related investments, as well as revenues from carbon pricing of international transport fuels; calls furthermore for partial use of farming subsidies to guarantee investments for the production and use of renewable energy in farms; highlights the importance of mobilising private sector capital and of unlocking the required investment in low-carbon technologies; calls for an ambitious commitment by governments and public and private financial institutions, including banks, pension funds and insurance firms, in favour of aligning lending and investment practices with the below 2 °C target and divesting from fossil fuels, including phasing out export credits for fossil fuel investments; calls for specific public guarantees in favour of green investments, labels and fiscal advantages for green investment funds and for issuing green bonds;

56. Considers that the financial system should incorporate climate risk into investment decisions; calls on the Commission, the Member States and all the Parties to the UNFCCC to use all means at their disposal to encourage financial institutions to redirect their investments on the scale necessary to finance a genuine transition to resilient low-carbon economies;

57  Calls for concrete steps, including a timetable, further to the pledge by the G-20 countries in 2009, for the phase-out of all fossil fuel subsidies by 2020;

58. Encourages the most progressive players to make voluntary commitments to help with the transition to a low-carbon economy, making the most of the best practice already being implemented in the sector; hopes that this mobilisation will be extended and that the commitments will be more structured in future, particularly via the recording platforms incorporated into the Climate Convention;

59. Takes note of the close links between the Financing for Development Conference, the UN Sustainable Development Goals Summit and the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in 2015; recognises that the impacts of climate change will seriously undermine attempts to achieve the planned post-2015 sustainable development framework, and that the overall development financing framework will need to be aligned with and able to support a low-carbon and climate-resilient world;

60. Encourages the promotion of private initiatives from the financial sector, in particular at the G-20 meeting in November 2015, but also in general at the numerous specific finance events that punctuate the preparations for the Paris Conference in 2015;

Achieving climate resilience through adaptation

61. Emphasises 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, and that it needs to play a central role in the new agreement; calls for long-term adaptation objectives to be set accordingly; underlines that acting now to reduce GHG emissions will be less expensive to the global and national economies and would make adaptation action less costly; recognises that adaptation is necessary, particularly in countries that are highly vulnerable to these impacts, and especially to ensure that food production and economic development can proceed in a climate-resilient manner; calls for active support for the elaboration of comprehensive adaptation plans in developing countries taking into account the practices of local actors and the knowledge of indigenous peoples;

62. Recognises that the mitigation ambition achieved by Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) has a strong influence on the adaptation efforts needed; calls for a global goal for adaptation and adaptation finance in the Paris Agreement along with commitments to developing further approaches to effectively address loss and damage;

63. Stresses the need to strengthen coordination and climate-risk management at EU level and to create a clear EU adaptation strategy; calls for the implementation of regional adaptation strategies;

64. Recalls that developing countries, in particular LDCs and small island developing states, have contributed least to climate change, are the most vulnerable to its adverse effects and have the least capacity to adapt; calls for adaptation support and loss and damage to be essential elements of the Paris Agreement, and for the developing countries to receive tangible assistance in their transition to sustainable, renewable and low-carbon forms of energy, guaranteeing therefore that their adaptation needs will be met in both the short and the long term; calls for serious recognition of the issue of climate refugees and the scope thereof, resulting from climate disasters caused by global warming;

65. Emphasises that this agreement should be flexible in order to take account of national circumstances, the respective needs and capacities of developing countries, and the specific features of some countries, in particular LDCs and small islands;

66. Calls on the major developed economies to harness their existing advanced infrastructure to promote, enhance and develop sustainable growth and to commit to supporting developing countries in building their own capacity, so as to ensure that future economic growth in all parts of the world is achieved at no further cost to the environment;

67. Stresses the importance of the role that the development community, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) should play in working closely with stakeholders and relevant organisations to assess and mitigate the worst human impacts of climate change, which are expected to be challenging even below a 2 °C warming level;

68. Affirms that effectively tackling the climate issue must be a strategic priority for the EU and other actors on the international scene, and that this requires that climate action be mainstreamed in all relevant policies and that policy coherence be pursued; considers it important that the EU promote low-carbon development pathways across all relevant areas and sectors, and calls for the EU to propose sustainable production and consumption patterns, including indications of ways in which the EU plans to reduce consumption and decouple economic activity from environmental degradation;

69. Notes with concern that 166 million people were forced to leave their homes because of floods, windstorms, earthquakes or other disasters between 2008 and 2013; draws particular attention to the fact that climate-related developments in parts of Africa could contribute to an escalation in the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean; deplores the fact that the status of ‘climate refugee’ is not yet recognised and leaves a legal loophole affecting victims that cannot benefit from refugee status;

70. Insists that increased efforts to tackle global climate change should be undertaken jointly by developed and developing countries, in accordance with the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR);

71. Stresses that, under Article 3(5) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), the aim of the EU in its relations with the wider world is to contribute to solidarity and to the sustainable development of the Earth, as well as to the strict observance and the development of international law; notes that, under Article 191(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), EU environmental policy shall promote measures at international level to combat climate change;

Scaling up climate diplomacy

72. Stresses the need for climate diplomacy to be part of a comprehensive approach to the EU’s external action and, in this context, the importance of the EU in playing an ambitious and central role at the conference, speaking with ‘one voice’ and playing the role of mediator in seeking progress towards an international agreement and staying united in that regard;

73. Calls on the Member States to coordinate their positions in this regard with those of the EU; underlines the fact that the EU and its Member States have an enormous foreign policy capacity and must show leadership in the area of climate diplomacy and mobilise this network in order to find common ground on the main topics to be agreed on in Paris, namely mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, transparency of action and support, and capacity-building;

74. Welcomes the EU’s Climate Diplomacy Action Plan, as endorsed by the EU Foreign Affairs Council on 19 January 2015; expects the Commission to assume a pro-active role in the negotiations; calls on it to make it clear that the climate challenge is the top strategic priority of this Commission and to organise itself in a way which reflects this, at all levels and across all policy areas;

75  Emphasises the leading role of the EU in climate policy and stresses the need for coordination and the establishment of a common position among the Member States; urges the Commission, the Member States and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to continue and to intensify their diplomatic efforts ahead of and during the conference, with a view to improving their understanding of their partners’ positions and encouraging the other Parties to take effective measures to stay compliant with the 2 °C objective and to arrive at agreements and commitments, particularly in the case of the United States, aimed at bringing the most significant emissions in line with those of EU citizens, who have already made numerous efforts to reconcile economic development with respect for the environment and climate; calls on the EU to use its position to achieve closer cooperation on climate issues with neighbouring countries and EU accession countries;

76. Highlights that increased diplomatic efforts ahead of and during the conference are needed in particular to find common ground on the nature of differentiation in obligations of the Parties in the light of their national circumstances and on the role of loss and damage in the agreement;

77. Calls on the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to develop strategic priorities for the external climate policy enshrined in the general foreign policy objectives, and to ensure that the EU delegations focus more intensively on climate policies and on monitoring countries’ efforts to mitigate or adapt to climate change, as well as on providing support in terms of capacity-building, and that they have the necessary means to carry out action on climate monitoring issues; calls for the EU to cooperate more closely on climate issues with neighbouring and candidate countries, urging the alignment of their policies with the EU’s climate targets; invites the Member States and the EEAS to establish contact points focused on climate change in EU delegations and Member States’ embassies;

78. Acknowledges the importance of acting against climate change and the potential stability and security threat it poses, as well as the importance of climate diplomacy, in anticipation of the Paris Climate Conference;

The European Parliament

79. Welcomes the Commission communication and the objectives of the EU’s contribution to the COP 21 Climate Conference to be held in Paris in December 2015;

80. Commits to using its international role and its membership of international parliamentary networks to consistently seek progress towards a legally binding and ambitious international climate agreement in Paris;

81. Believes, as it will also need to give its consent to any international agreement, that it needs to be well integrated into the EU delegation; expects therefore to be allowed to attend EU coordination meetings in Paris;

°

°         °

82. 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.

(1)

     OJ C 285 E, 21.10.2010, p. 1.

(2)

     OJ C 341 E, 16.12.2010, p. 25.

(3)

     OJ C 99 E, 3.4.2012, p.77.

(4)

     OJ C 153 E, 31.5.2013, p. 83.

(5)

     Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0452.

(6)

   Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0443.

(7)

   Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0063.

(8)

     OJ L 8, 13.1.2009, p. 3.

(9)

     OJ C 67 E, 18.3.2010, p. 44.

(10)

    OJ C 251 E, 31.8.2013, p. 75.

(11)

    Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0094.

(12)

Eurostat data on the environmental goods and services sector quoted in ‘A policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030’ (COM(2014)0015).


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

To judge by the impact it is having on sustainable development, health and the world economy, global warming is one of the most serious challenges facing humanity. Rising temperatures, melting glaciers and ever more frequent droughts and floods are all signs that climate change is a real phenomenon. Climate change calls for an urgent, responsible, global response, based on solidarity among the international community.

On 25 February 2015, the Commission adopted a communication, entitled The Paris Protocol - A blueprint for tackling global climate change beyond 2020, which is intended to prepare the European Union for the final cycle of negotiations which will lead up to the 21st United Nations Climate Conference to be held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015.

On 6 March 2015, the EU environment ministers formally adopted undertakings to reduce the European Union’s greenhouse gas emissions. The European Union and its Member States have jointly pledged to meet a binding target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by at least 40% over 1990 levels by 2030. The European Union submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the Climate Convention Secretariat (UNFCCC) in March 2015.

These goals represent a step in the right direction, but they should be more ambitious. If the EU’s position in the international negotiations is to be strengthened, Parliament must advocate ambitious and realistic targets: reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% over 1990 levels by 2030, increasing the share of the energy mix accounted for by renewals to 45% and cutting overall energy consumption by 40%.

The Paris Conference must not be a meeting characterised by earnest efforts to achieve progress; it must be a meeting at which real decisions are taken. The Conference will mark a decisive stage in the negotiations on the new world climate agreement which will enter into force in 2020.

The Paris Conference is not an end in itself, but rather the start of a dynamic process which will enable the international community to get back on track in its efforts to meet the target of keeping the rise in average global temperatures below 2° C.

An ambitious, universally applicable and legally binding agreement

The Paris Agreement must:

-          be ambitious, universally applicable and legally binding, in order to provide a long-term response commensurate with the climate challenges facing us and the target of keeping the rise in average global temperatures below 2°C;

-          be sustainable and dynamic, so that it can underpin ever more resolute action against climate disruption, beyond the initial contributions submitted by States, on the basis, in particular, of a long-term mitigation target;

-          be flexible so that it can take account of the changing needs and capacities of the countries involved and their national circumstances and provide then with the means of honouring their undertakings;

-          strike a balance between mitigation and adaptation, in order to help the most vulnerable countries cope more resiliently with the impact of climate change, encourage sustainable approaches to development, keep the rise in average global temperatures below 2°C and help individual countries implement and enhance national adaptation action plans;

-          send out the powerful message required to convince economic actors to start the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The funding arrangements – cornerstone of the Paris Agreement

Between now and 2020, US$ 100 billion will have to be transferred each year to the developing countries to help them meet the cost of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fund projects designed to protect at-risk communities against the impact of climate change, such as rising sea levels, prolonged droughts and damage to food crops.

At the Lima Conference held in late 2014, a total of US$ 10.4 billion was raised for the Green Climate Fund. In your rapporteur’s view, this is not enough. If they are to regain the trust of the developing countries, the European Union and the industrialised countries must set out very clearly how they intend to put together the US$ 100 billion aid package announced at the Copenhagen Conference in 2009.

Regrettably, the Commission communication of 25 February 2015 is vague on this issue, even though the provision of new funding will be the cornerstone of the Paris Agreement.

In order to meet the undertakings given at COP 21, innovative funding mechanisms will have to be devised, tested and implemented. This will necessarily involve:

-          setting a realistic carbon price in all the world’s major economies with a view to developing climate-friendly solutions;

-          offering incentives for all financial actors to redirect their investments on the scale needed to finance a genuine transition to resilient, low-carbon economies;

-          providing specific government guarantees for green investments;

-          in Europe, using the money available under the Juncker Plan, via the European Fund for Strategic Investments;

-          drawing up an ambitious roadmap of undertakings by state and multilateral banks to fund environmental transition;

-          introducing labels and tax breaks for green investment funds and green bonds;

-          introducing a financial transaction tax, part of the proceeds of which are earmarked for  green investments.

Funding will be a key issue in the context of the efforts to secure an agreement ahead of the Paris Conference. Accordingly, a credible ‘financial package’ needs to be prepared, both for the developed and the developing countries, so that the efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impact of climate change can be stepped up.

The EU must set a climate policy example at home

Although he advocates more ambitious targets, your rapporteur welcomes the submission by the EU of its INDC before the March 2015 deadline set, for guidance, by the Warsaw decision. That contribution has had a significant impact, and exerted a significant bandwagon effect, on the EU’s international partners and must be built on through the adoption of practical measures to implement the transition to a low-carbon economy in the Union.

Once the work on the stability reserve has been completed, the Commission will need to make a start on revising the directive on the European carbon market and preparing the arrangements to govern the distribution of the burden among the Member States.

The European Union must complete as quickly as possible the process of ratifying the Doha amendment to the Kyoto Protocol and encourage the other Parties to follow suit, so that it can enter into force without delay.

Ambitious undertakings given by the European Union will have a decisive bearing on its credibility in the negotiations. The Union must pursue an ambitious and effective policy designed to bring about an energy transition by 2050, using the instruments at its disposal not only in the area of climate and energy policy, but also in other spheres, such as transport, research and innovation, trade and development cooperation.

An effective EU external policy which exerts a bandwagon effect

The European Union must lobby all the stakeholders intensively at all the international meetings held in 2015 in the run-up to COP 21.

The EU contribution must set an example for the other Parties, through its clarity, transparency and ambition. The EU’s success in reducing its emissions by 19% between 1990 and 2012, over a period when its GDP increased by 45%, and the ongoing fall in its share of global emissions show that mitigation and economic growth can go hand in hand.

The European Union must continue and step up its diplomatic efforts in order to gain a better understanding of the positions adopted by its partner countries, encourage those countries to implement ambitious policies to combat climate change and form alliances conducive to achieving that goal.

Your rapporteur notes that in autumn 2015 the Commission plans to organise jointly with Morocco a conference on the topic of the ‘ambition gap’, i.e. the disparity between the undertakings given by the parties and the target of limiting global warming to less than 2°C. He urges the Commission, however, to make sure that the main objective of such an event is to achieve progress towards an agreement at the Paris Conference. With that aim in view, the conference should serve to encourage the Parties to take an ambitious approach and provide a forum for a constructive exchange of views which focuses on practical measures.

Your rapporteur calls for intra-EU discussions to be stepped up without delay with a view to reaching agreement on a common standpoint, in particular on the key issues to be dealt with in the international negotiations, such as funding, capacity-building and technology transfer.

The credibility of the undertakings given by the Parties to the Paris Agreement will be contingent in part on the efforts made by non-State actors, such as towns and cities, regions, industries or investors. The Paris Conference must send out a clear message to these actors and offer them incentives to take action, including in the form of international acknowledgement of their efforts. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the Parties to the Montreal Protocol must also take action to regulate the emissions generated by international transport and the production and consumption of HFCs before the end of 2016.

The European Union must be the voice of ambition in the negotiations. Your rapporteur feels that the Union’s credibility would be undermined if it were to approve an agreement which clearly did not do enough to limit climate change. Whilst demonstrating the flexibility needed to secure a consensus, the Union must reject any unacceptable compromise.

The European Parliament will continue to have a key say in framing an ambitious European policy to combat climate change. In conclusion, your rapporteur would like to point out that Parliament will be required to give its consent to the ratification by the EU of the legally binding agreement which emerges from the Paris Conference. Parliament must therefore be fully involved in the coordination meetings held during that conference.


OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy(*) (10.9.2015)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on Towards a new international climate agreement in Paris

(2015/2112(INI))

Rapporteur (*): Seán Kelly

(*)       Associated committee – Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

Industry and Competitiveness

1.  Welcomes the EU’s leadership on climate change mitigation and adaptation, including the creation of knowledge, skills, jobs and growth that it brings; notes the crucial need for a global ambitious, legally binding agreement – containing a strong commitment to remain within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2oC scenario – to be concluded in Paris, and stresses that continued EU leadership requires the full commitment of all parties to this agreement if it is to be an effective means of averting climate change; insists on regular, transparent performance evaluations – including on Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) – based on the most up-to-date scientific data and technology and in accordance with the Seventh Environment Action Programme(1);

2.  Notes that the EU is now well on track to meet the 2020 targets for greenhouse gas emissions reduction and renewable energy, that significant improvements have been made in the intensity of energy use thanks to more efficient buildings, products, industrial processes and vehicles and that, at the same time, the European economy has grown by 45 % since 1990; stresses that the 20/20/20 targets for greenhouse gas 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(2) , with continuous growth during the economic crisis;

3.  Stresses the importance of reaching an effective, binding global agreement at the Paris Conference and points out that the continued absence of such an agreement will further endanger the competitiveness of the EU economy and expose it to the risk of carbon leakage;

4.  Welcomes the commitment of the G7 leaders on decarbonising the global economy in the course of this century and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by the upper end of the range from 40 % to 70 % by 2050 compared to 2010 levels;

5.  Stresses the need to strengthen coordination and climate risk management at EU level and to create a clear EU adaptation strategy; recommends the implementation of ambitious and binding targets for CO2 emissions and renewable energy, at both national and EU level, in order to enable and ensure the transition to a sustainable and secure economy;

6.  Stresses that Article 191(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union states that Union policy is based on the polluter pays principle; stresses also, however, that, should other major economies fail to make comparable commitments on GHG reductions, carbon leakage provisions, particularly aimed at those sectors exposed to both a high trade intensity and a high share of carbon costs in production, will be maintained and strengthened where necessary; considers, nevertheless, that a more long-term solution as regards carbon leakage will need to be found in the upcoming revision of the EU-ETS or by establishing a system of border carbon adjustments; considers it vital that carbon leakage be avoided in key European industries, including energy-intensive industries and sustainable European agribusiness/agri-food production; acknowledges the need to reduce fossil fuel dependence in food production;

7.  Stresses that the agreement should take account of the parallel global objective of ensuring food security;

8.  Stresses that delays in taking action will increase the cost of climate change mitigation and adaptation, and will narrow the range of technology options available; considers that early action will have a positive impact on the long-term competitiveness of European industries and energy producers;

9.  Encourages the Commission, in order to maintain a level playing field for EU industry and the energy sector, to promote links between the EU ETS – before or after a comprehensive, structural, post-2020 reform that will enhance its performance – and other emission trading systems, with the aim of creating a future world emissions trading market to significantly reduce global emissions in a cost-effective manner and increase industrial competitiveness; calls on the Commission, however, to establish safeguards to ensure that linking the EU ETS to other systems does not undermine EU climate targets and the scope of the EU ETS; welcomes in this regard the global development of emissions trading systems and other pricing mechanisms, including the 17 emissions trading systems that are in operation across four continents, accounting for 40% of global GDP, which will help reduce the risk of carbon leakage; highlights that in reducing costs for companies and levelling the playing field, a global trading system could provide the means to strengthen global climate targets;

10. Calls on the Commission to maintain fair competition on the EU market by imposing surcharges on energy-intensive goods imported from third countries to offset the additional costs incurred by EU manufacturers in meeting CO2 emissions charges;

11. Stresses the need to ensure long-term price stability for emissions allowances and a predictable regulatory environment which directs investment towards measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fosters the transition to a low-carbon economy;

12. Insists on the global phase-out of environmentally harmful subsidies, including fossil fuel subsidies, which distort competition and the internal energy market, discourage international cooperation and hinder innovation; calls for concrete steps, including a timetable towards the global phase-out of these subsidies, to be included as part of the agreement; notes also that it is necessary to support and encourage investment in businesses that demonstrate a positive approach to GHG reductions and therefore recognises that subsidies can, if utilised correctly, aid the development of a sustainable economy;

Supporting the Development and Deployment of Climate Technologies

13. Points to the importance of assessing the potential for making economies less carbon intensive by reducing dependence on fossil fuels; considers that such assessment must be based on technical and scientific studies and cover the same time-frame as the reduction targets laid down; maintains that the EU has to set an example both by taking its own initiatives and by promoting cooperation with its international partners;

14. Underlines the serious negative and often irreversible consequences of non-action, given that climate change affects all regions around the world in different but highly damaging ways, resulting in migration flows and the loss of lives, as well as economic, ecological and social losses; highlights the importance of scientific evidence as a driver of long-term policy decisions and emphasises that the level of ambition should be based on solid scientific recommendations; stresses that a concerted global political and financial push for research, development and innovation activities in clean and renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency is crucial to meeting our climate goals and to facilitating growth in EU green-economy sectors, increasing the number of skilled workers active in the industry and promoting knowledge and best practice, while ensuring that a ‘just transition’ of the workforce creates quality jobs; stresses the need to strengthen coordination and climate risk management at the EU and global level and to create a clear adaptation strategy, and the importance of helping to prevent the creation, or inflation, of a carbon bubble;

15. Stresses that the EU should increase its efforts on technology transfer for least developed countries, while respecting existing intellectual property rights;

16. Notes that there are different ways of encouraging innovation in a market-based economy; calls on the Commission to assess the various mechanisms for rewarding frontrunner businesses, which differ in their capacity to trigger innovation and to transfer and deploy technologies globally;

17. Believes that the increased deployment of clean energy technologies where they have the greatest impact is dependent on building and maintaining a strong innovation capacity both in developed and emerging countries;

18. Notes that the required cuts in emissions are dependent on the increased development and deployment of low-carbon technologies;

19. Recognises that building technological capacity requires effective financing mechanisms; stresses the need to provide financing for climate actions in developing countries and reiterates the Commission’s calls for concrete commitments that the poorest and most vulnerable countries will receive priority support under the Green Climate Fund (GCF); supports furthermore measures for the joint mobilisation of funding from a variety of sources – public and private, bilateral and multilateral; calls on the Commission to assess the possibility of setting aside a number of EU-ETS allowances for financial support to the least developed countries for the financing of climate mitigation and adaptation measures;

20. Requests that the roles of the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) and the Technology Executive Committee in facilitating technological development for climate change mitigation and adaption be given full recognition and support;

Scientific Research, Technological Development and Innovation, including Space Policy

21. Underlines that stimulating innovation in technologies and business models can drive both economic growth and emissions reduction; stresses that technology will not automatically advance in a low-carbon direction, but will require clear policy signals, including the reduction of market and regulatory barriers to new technologies and business models, and well-targeted public expenditure; encourages the Member States to increase investment in public research and development in the energy sector to help create the next wave of resource-efficient, low-carbon technologies;

22. Recognises the importance of research and innovation in combating climate change and calls on the Parties to spare no effort to support researchers and promote the new technologies that can help attain the reduction targets which may be set, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation measures;

23. Encourages the Commission to better take advantage of the fact that Horizon 2020 is fully open to third-country participation, especially in the fields of energy and climate change;

24. Considers that EU space policy and investment therein, including the launch of satellites which play an important role in monitoring industrial accidents, deforestation, desertification etc., plus collaboration with partners in third countries, can play a major role in monitoring and addressing the effects of climate change worldwide;

Energy

25. Stresses that the EU must spare no effort in Paris to encourage the Parties to adopt a holistic approach that combines the reduction in emissions with a new energy model based on energy efficiency and renewable energy;

26. Highlights the huge potential to reduce emissions through increased energy efficiency and clean energy deployment; considers that maximising the efficiency of energy use worldwide is the first step towards reducing energy-related emissions while also contributing to the challenge of alleviating energy poverty;

27. Calls for the inclusive participation of local communities affected by related mitigation and adaptation processes and projects; underlines the importance of decentralising energy production, namely by favouring local cooperatives, citizens’ renewable energy projects and activities aimed at stimulating self-production and consumption, fostering the transition from a fossil fuel-based to a renewable energy-based economic system;

28. Underlines the important carbon emission mitigation potential of climate-resilient forests through enhanced sequestration, storage and substitution; also emphasises the potential of bio and wood-based products, and especially a sustainable bioenergy sector, and the importance of forests and other land uses in maintaining and increasing carbon sequestration and storage; highlights that when combined with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology, biomass as a fuel for energy generation can bring significant reductions in carbon emissions; calls for renewable raw materials, such as those from agriculture, grasslands and forestry, to be recognised and incentivised for their emission mitigation and for their contribution to green growth and the decarbonisation of the economy; notes that total global carbon emissions from forests decreased by more than 25 % between 2001 and 2015, mainly due to a slowdown in global deforestation rates, and calls therefore on the EU to scale up international finance for reducing deforestation in developing countries; notes the need to establish a simple, transparent and coherent accounting framework for emissions and removals in LULUCF sectors;

29. Recalls that transport is the second-largest GHG-emitting sector after energy; insists on the need to put in place a range of policies that aim to lower emissions from this sector and on the need for more ambitious EU initiatives for developing and deploying alternative fuels infrastructure, for further incentivising the production and use of advanced biofuels and for speeding up the electrification of transport;

30. Stresses the importance of infrastructure investment developed with Member States to facilitate the free trade of energy across borders;

31. Welcomes the efforts made on cooperation between the EU and the United States’ Department of Energy, particularly around climate change technology research; considers that there is much potential for further research cooperation between the EU and other major economies; stresses that the results of publicly funded research should be made freely available;

32. Insists that the European Commission uses the Covenant of Mayors to inform its negotiating position, as cities, regions and local communities will be key actors in ensuring climate action legislation and measures are effectively implemented at local level;

33. Notes that the bioeconomy has the potential to substantially contribute to re-industrialisation and the creation of new jobs in the EU and the rest of the world;

34. Notes that the agreement should take into account the potential of the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector to contribute to the EU target of reducing GHG emissions by at least 40% by 2030 based on 1990 levels;

35. Calls on the French government, as a sign of a good will, to take up serious negotiations with the European Parliament on working towards a single seat in order to reduce the large amount of CO2 emissions resulting from the European Parliament being based in both Brussels and Strasbourg(3);

36. Commends the US and China on their commitment to playing a more significant global climate role; is encouraged that these signals will help lead to a positive outcome in Paris and so, with this in mind, urges both states to ensure that this commitment is translated into concrete action; points to the environmental, social and economic benefits that strong global commitments bring for the competitiveness of EU industry, and considers that the EU should play a greater role in promoting the transition to a global system of commitments and strategies to counter climate change; underlines that such a commitment, creating true long-term value for all citizens, contributes to stronger international relations oriented towards long-term peace, solidarity and sustainability; regrets that some developed countries continue to increase their emissions per capita;

37. Reminds the Parties and the UN itself that action by individuals is just as important as action by governments and institutions; calls, therefore, for greater efforts to be made, via information and awareness-raising campaigns and measures, to inform the public and raise their awareness of the small steps and major action they can take to help combat climate change in developed countries and in developing countries.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

7.9.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

41

13

7

Members present for the final vote

Zigmantas Balčytis, Bendt Bendtsen, David Borrelli, Reinhard Bütikofer, Jerzy Buzek, Soledad Cabezón Ruiz, Philippe De Backer, Peter Eriksson, Fredrick Federley, Adam Gierek, Juan Carlos Girauta Vidal, Theresa Griffin, Marek Józef Gróbarczyk, Roger Helmer, Hans-Olaf Henkel, Eva Kaili, Kaja Kallas, Barbara Kappel, Krišjānis Kariņš, Seán Kelly, Jeppe Kofod, Paloma López Bermejo, Ernest Maragall, Edouard Martin, Dan Nica, Angelika Niebler, Aldo Patriciello, Morten Helveg Petersen, Miroslav Poche, Michel Reimon, Herbert Reul, Paul Rübig, Algirdas Saudargas, Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, Sergei Stanishev, Neoklis Sylikiotis, Dario Tamburrano, Evžen Tošenovský, Claude Turmes, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Vladimir Urutchev, Adina-Ioana Vălean, Kathleen Van Brempt, Henna Virkkunen, Martina Werner, Anna Záborská, Flavio Zanonato, Carlos Zorrinho

Substitutes present for the final vote

Michał Boni, Lefteris Christoforou, Cornelia Ernst, Francesc Gambús, Jens Geier, Jude Kirton-Darling, Janusz Korwin-Mikke, Clare Moody, Luděk Niedermayer, Piernicola Pedicini, Massimiliano Salini, Anneleen Van Bossuyt

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Jozo Radoš

(1)

‘Living well, within the limits of our planet’ (COM(2012)0710)

(2)

Eurostat data on the environmental good and services sector quoted in ‘A policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030’ (COM(2014)0015).

(3)

The total CO2 impact of the Strasbourg operation is at least 18 884.5 tonnes per year. A decision to adopt a single-seat mode of operation (with the seat in Brussels) would thus save almost 19 000 tonnes of CO2 each year, according to a study of the environmental costs of the European Parliament’s two-seat operation by Eco-Logica Ltd. in September 2007.


OPINION of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (1.9.2015)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on Towards a new international climate agreement in Paris

(2015/2112(INI))

Rapporteur: Dubravka Šuica

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Foreign Affairs calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Stresses that, under Article 3(5) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), the aim of the EU in its relations with the wider world is to contribute to solidarity and to the sustainable development of the Earth, as well as to the strict observance and the development of international law; notes that, under Article 191(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), EU policy on the environment shall promote measures at international level to combat climate change;

2.  Acknowledges the fundamental importance of a stable climate system for food security, energy production, water and sanitation, infrastructure, the preservation of biodiversity and terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and peace and prosperity globally; acknowledges the danger of inaction on mitigating climate change, and stresses the urgent need to reach an agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to be held in Paris (Paris Climate Conference);

3.  Acknowledges the importance of acting against climate change and the potential stability and security threat it poses, as well as the importance of climate diplomacy, with a view to the Paris Climate Conference; calls on the European External Action Service (EEAS) to step up diplomacy on climate policy goals in order to build support for a comprehensive, ambitious, transparent, dynamic and legally binding agreement to limit global warming to 2°C; stresses, in accordance with the climate and international obligations and the principles of the UNFCCC, the importance of the EU as an important player in climate diplomacy, and emphasises the need to speak with one voice; calls in this context for the enhancement of the intra-European dialogue with a view to coming up with common position, in particular in regard to the key points of negotiations; calls on the Member States to coordinate their positions in this regard with those of the EU; underlines that the EU and the Member States have an enormous foreign policy capacity, and must show leadership in the area of climate diplomacy and mobilise this network in order to find common ground on the main topics to be agreed on in Paris, namely mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, transparency of action and support, and capacity-building; calls on the parties involved in the environmental aspects of EU trade negotiations, and especially the ongoing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, to take account of the conclusions of the Paris Climate Conference;

4.  Stresses that climate diplomacy is an integral part of the comprehensive approach to the EU’s external action; recognises that climate change will affect countries with varying degrees of severity, with the least developed countries being most disproportionately affected owing to lack of resources for climate mitigation and adaptation; recognises that the transformations of the Arctic represents a major effect of climate change on EU security; calls for a policy of prevention in relation to climate change, as well as a debate on a forward-looking strategy at EU level to address the strategic and political consequences of climate-induced geopolitical instability, allowing the EU to respond to resource-related conflicts stepping up cooperation with countries most afflicted by the impacts of climate change;

5.  Believes that Parliament should use its role and influence in international parliamentary networks to step up efforts to secure an ambitious, legally binding international agreement in Paris;

6.  Welcomes the action plan for climate diplomacy, which states that the EEAS, the Commission and the Member States must together implement a strategic, coherent and cohesive climate diplomacy plan throughout 2015; stresses that the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of July 2011 and June 2013 endorsed the joint EEAS and Commission non-papers, which identified three strands of action for climate diplomacy, and that the action plan must form an integral part of this strategy; highlights the crucial role that the EEAS can play in promoting EU positions ahead of and during the Paris Climate Conference and in creating mutual understanding between all parties involved regarding how to gain international support for climate-resilient development;

7.  Underlines the importance of dialogues between the EU and national parliaments, local authorities, civil society, the private sector and the media, both within and outside the EU, given that those actors play an increasing role in the climate debate; believes these dialogues will contribute to a transparent and inclusive agreement;

8.  Stresses that the action plan must come with clearly defined objectives and strategies for achieving them;

9.  Stresses the importance of maintaining human rights at the core of climate action, and insists that the Commission and the Member States must ensure that the Paris agreement recognises that respect for and protection and promotion of, human rights, encompassing inter alia gender equality, full and equal participation of women, and the active promotion of a just transition for the workforce, creating decent work and quality jobs for all, constitute a prerequisite for effective global climate action;

10. Observes that the parties to the UNFCCC decided at COP18 (Decision 23/CP.18) to adopt a goal of gender balance in bodies established pursuant to the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, in order to improve women’s participation and inform a more effective climate change policy that addresses the needs of women and men equally, as well as to keep track of progress made towards the goal of gender balance in advancing gender-sensitive climate policy;

11. Calls on the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to develop strategic priorities for the external climate policy enshrined in the general foreign policy objectives, and to ensure that the EU delegations focus more intensively on climate policies and on monitoring countries’ efforts to mitigate or adapt to climate change, as well as on providing support in terms of capacity-building, and that they have the necessary means to carry out actions on climate monitoring issues; calls on the EU to cooperate more closely on climate issues with neighbouring and candidate countries, urging the alignment of their policies with the EU climate targets; invites the Member States and the EEAS to establish contact points focused on climate change in EU delegations and Member States’ embassies;

12. Recalls that climate change is expected to bring about significant changes in migration patterns throughout the developing world; calls on the EU to support communities in the developing countries, especially the least developed countries, in their efforts to adapt to climate change and develop greater resilience to environmental risks;

13. Stresses that the issue of climate change should be an integral part of development policy and that it must be taken into account in the planning of the humanitarian aid and development policy budget.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

31.8.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

49

4

2

Members present for the final vote

Michèle Alliot-Marie, Petras Auštrevičius, Elmar Brok, Klaus Buchner, James Carver, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Lorenzo Cesa, Arnaud Danjean, Mark Demesmaeker, Georgios Epitideios, Knut Fleckenstein, Eugen Freund, Michael Gahler, Iveta Grigule, Sandra Kalniete, Manolis Kefalogiannis, Janusz Korwin-Mikke, Andrey Kovatchev, Eduard Kukan, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Arne Lietz, Barbara Lochbihler, Sabine Lösing, Andrejs Mamikins, David McAllister, Tamás Meszerics, Demetris Papadakis, Alojz Peterle, Tonino Picula, Andrej Plenković, Cristian Dan Preda, Jozo Radoš, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Jaromír Štětina, Charles Tannock, Eleni Theocharous, László Tőkés, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Geoffrey Van Orden

Substitutes present for the final vote

Daniel Caspary, Neena Gill, Ana Gomes, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Othmar Karas, Antonio López-Istúriz White, Norbert Neuser, Urmas Paet, Gilles Pargneaux, Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, Helmut Scholz, Paavo Väyrynen, Janusz Zemke

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Heidi Hautala, Jutta Steinruck


OPINION of the Committee on Development (10.9.2015)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on Towards a new international climate agreement in Paris

(2015/2112(INI))

Rapporteur: Anna Záborská

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Development calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Stresses that the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report (5AR) shows evidence that the warming of our climate system is unequivocal and that human activities are the dominant cause of climate change observed since the middle of the 20th century; stresses that climate change poses a major threat to developing countries and is particularly serious for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS); points out that the most vulnerable countries’ greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions are insignificant and that these countries are therefore not responsible for causing the situation they face; calls for a strong focus in the Paris agreement on support for adaptation and mitigation measures in LDCs and SIDS through technology transfer and finance, focusing on eradicating poverty, reducing inequality, and sustainability;

2.  Stresses that climate change will be an obstacle to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and that failure to keep global warming below 2 ºC, as agreed in the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, will undermine development gains, bearing in mind that 2 ºC warming would still bring about significant losses and damage to the environment and communities and risk amplifying existing vulnerabilities and leading to escalating humanitarian crises;

3.  Draws attention to the recent UNEP Adaptation Gap Report, which estimates that the cost of adapting to climate change in Africa alone, even assuming international efforts keep global warming below 2 °C this century, will rise to USD 50 billion per year by 2050; considers that, even if all cost-effective adaptation is realised, there will be further ‘residual’ damage where adaptation is no longer possible; recognises that this residual damage will double the adaptation costs in the period 2030-2050;

4.  Points to the links between GHG emissions, climate change and abnormal weather conditions, and the incidence and gravity of natural disasters, land degradation, food crises, increasingly difficult access to drinking water, large-scale migratory flows and conflicts; notes that such phenomena have a negative impact on the global effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and have a more dramatic impact on poorer and vulnerable groups;

5.  Insists on the need to establish at COP21 in Paris a common accounting system for GHG emissions to ensure that the implementation of national contributions is transparent and quantifiable;

6.  Stresses that in order to reduce GHG emissions in developing countries, it is necessary to put in place mechanisms that increase the use of renewable energy sources and improve energy efficiency and the use of industrial resources with a zero or low carbon footprint;

7.  Emphasises the ultimate need for enhanced capacity in terms of prevention, resistance, natural disaster risk reduction and adaptation in developing countries; calls for these challenges to be made a top priority in the context of infrastructural, urban development, agricultural and investment policies, and urges that the necessary technologies be developed to combat climate change;

8.  Notes with concern that 166 million people were forced to leave their homes because of floods, windstorms, earthquakes or other disasters between 2008 and 2013; draws particular attention to the fact that climate-related developments in parts of Africa could contribute to an escalation of the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean; deplores the fact that the status of ‘climate refugee’ is not yet recognised and leaves a legal loophole affecting victims that cannot benefit from refugee status;

9.  Stresses the importance of stepping up reconstruction efforts in the wake of natural disasters, and underlines the need to develop mechanisms commensurate with losses and damage sustained as a result of climate change and natural disasters in developing countries;

10. Insists that efforts to tackle global climate change should be undertaken jointly by both developed and developing countries, taking into account the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR); stresses that the EU must intensify its pursuit of a legally binding international agreement involving as many countries as possible – including the biggest emitters – ensuring that mitigation and adaptation efforts are increased; believes that innovative sources such as carbon pricing of international transport and allocations of revenues from a financial transaction tax would help meet the increasing financial needs for climate action globally;

11. Calls for a concentrated effort against land-grabbing through the promotion of adequate safeguards to prevent it, given that land-use change alone is responsible for approximately 20 % of global carbon dioxide emissions each year and that unsustainable farming practices contribute to climate change, endanger food security and pollute the environment;

12. Insists that increased efforts to tackle global climate change should be undertaken jointly by developed and developing countries, in accordance with the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR); stresses that these efforts should not overlook fluorinated greenhouse gases, since these gases are playing a key role in global climate change, and that a legally binding agreement, applicable to all countries, must be reached in the Paris conference; stresses the need to deliver adequate, stable and predictable climate finance and an adequate balance between adaptation and mitigation;

13. Stresses that in order to reduce GHG emissions in developing countries, it is necessary to put in place mechanisms that increase the use of alternative and efficient energy sources; encourages developing countries to invest in small-scale, off-grid and decentralised renewable energy production; calls for increased EU support for such production and for energy efficiency, as well as for sustainable fisheries and agriculture focused on small-scale farmers, crop diversification, agro-forestry and agro-ecological practices, including assistance for training in rural communities; is convinced that action in all of these areas can contribute substantially to climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as to disaster risk reduction;

14. Affirms that effectively tackling the climate issue must be a strategic priority for the EU and other actors on the international scene, and that this requires that climate action be mainstreamed in all relevant policies and that policy coherence be pursued; considers it important that the EU promote low-carbon development pathways across all relevant areas and sectors, and calls for the EU to propose sustainable production and consumption patterns, including indications of ways in which the EU plans to reduce consumption and decouple economic activity from environmental degradation; calls for the EU to take a leading role in the Paris conference, pressing for concrete measures to deliver the 2 ºC target;

15. Draws attention to the crucial importance of the provision of climate finance in the context of the Paris agreement; reiterates its call for the EU and the developed countries to honour their commitment to providing additional climate finance from public and private bilateral and multilateral sources, amounting to USD 100 billion per year by 2020; points out that in order to meet the additionality requirement Official Development Assistance (ODA) must increase at least at the same rate as climate finance; recognises the role of private climate finance, which should, however, not replace but complement public finance, and notes the need for transparent reporting and accountability as well as social and environmental safeguards;

16. Supports the use of innovative sources of climate funding, as well as emission trading arrangements; calls for a collective commitment in the Paris agreement to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, to be complemented with timetables;

17. Calls for the EU and the developed countries to scale up their funding for mitigation, adaptation, technology development and transfer, and capacity building in developing countries; reiterates its call for the EU and the developed countries to honour their collective commitment to providing new and additional climate finance – from public and private bilateral and multilateral sources – amounting to USD 100 billion by 2020; to that effect, calls for the EU to increase financial support for climate action in developing countries, by using new sources of finance, such as Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) auction revenues and financial transaction tax, as well as levies on fossil fuel emissions resulting from international aviation and maritime transport; stresses that separate accounting of climate finance is needed to track the additionality of financing commitments; stresses also that country ownership and the integration of climate objectives into national development strategies are key to an effective use of climate finance that is tied to energy efficiency and to the use of renewable energy; urges that the EU secure the necessary means to play a leading role in this context;

18. Supports a global mitigation and adaptation finance goal, based on national regional adaptation plans, to help close the efficiency gap and to ensure a strategy for disaster risk reduction, as stated in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction;

19. Stresses that, in line with the principle of Policy Coherence for Development, public incentives for the production of crop-based biofuels (such as the binding 10 % EU target for renewable energy in transport or subsidies) must be removed, as such measures could act as incentives to deforestation, which is already responsible for 20 % of GHG emissions, other land-use changes, and land-grabbing, while affecting the right to food in third countries;

20. Considers it important to ensure that the Green Climate Fund (GCF) acts as an institution that prioritises the needs of climate-impacted people in developing countries, acting strictly in the public interest and engaging with private companies and financiers only to the extent that they can guarantee compliance with high environmental, social and human rights standards, implementing robust and transparent processes and prohibiting engagement with private sector actors involved in money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance activities, fraud and corruption;

21. Calls on the major developed economies to harness their existing advanced infrastructure to promote, enhance and develop sustainable growth and to commit to supporting developing countries in building their own capacity, so as to help ensure that future economic growth in all parts of the world is achieved at no further cost to the environment;

22. Stresses the importance of the role that the development community, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) should play in working closely with stakeholders and relevant organisations to assess and mitigate the worst human impacts of climate change, which are expected to be challenging even below a 2 °C warming level;

23. Recognises, and proposes action to address, the implications of high-carbon food sources and related agricultural emissions, such as methane and nitrous oxide; calls also for action on deforestation arising from land-use change for feed and pasture purposes, with the aim of avoiding emissions associated with food source markets; calls for action to raise awareness of the climate impacts of high-impact food-production methods and to help businesses and people change behaviour; demands that side measures, including action on curbing food waste, should be part of national mitigation plans, especially in countries with higher than average levels of consumption.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

3.9.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

19

0

2

Members present for the final vote

Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Ignazio Corrao, Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, Charles Goerens, Maria Heubuch, Stelios Kouloglou, Linda McAvan, Norbert Neuser, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Elly Schlein, György Schöpflin, Pedro Silva Pereira, Davor Ivo Stier, Rainer Wieland, Anna Záborská

Substitutes present for the final vote

Seb Dance, Brian Hayes

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Soledad Cabezón Ruiz, Constance Le Grip, Ivana Maletić, Jutta Steinruck, Axel Voss


OPINION of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (16.7.2015)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on Towards a new international climate agreement in Paris

(2015/2112(INI))

Rapporteur: Bas Eickhout

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Transport and Tourism calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Welcomes the Commission communication and the objectives of the EU’s contribution to the COP21 Climate Conference to be held in Paris in December 2015; stresses the need for both the Commission and the Member States to enhance the visibility of the transport sector throughout the conference, with reference inter alia to initiatives such as the ‘Agenda of Solutions’, and to play a leading role in achieving a transparent and binding international agreement, recognising the role of non-state actors; invites the Commission to actively support initiatives in the field of sustainable urban mobility and public transport in the framework of the conference;

2.  Invites the Commission to offer its support and expertise to the parties of the COP21 Conference in setting up their national contributions, while raising awareness regarding the role of the transport sector in adopting comprehensive strategies for reducing GHG emissions;

3.  Recognises that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has committed to the development of a global market-based mechanism to reduce aviation emissions; deplores, however, the lack of progress and ambition until now; draws attention to the fact that globally agreed rules within the ICAO and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) are required for aviation and maritime CO2 emission targets to be met; calls on all parties, therefore, to commit to an instrument and measures of an effective and structural nature guaranteeing reductions of CO2 emissions in aviation; calls on the IMO to speed up actions with a view to an agreement being reached to effectively regulate and decrease emissions from international shipping by the end of 2016;

4.  Calls for the Paris Protocol to include GHG reduction targets that are consistent with a global carbon budget in line with the 2 degree objective for international aviation and maritime shipping, and calls on all parties, including the Commission and the Member States, to commit within the Paris Protocol to global, quantified GHG reduction targets as a top priority, and to work through the ICAO and the IMO with a view to agreement by the end of 2016 on a credible instrument that can deliver on achieving the necessary reductions; highlights the importance of taking account of the specific situation of island and outermost regions, in order to ensure that environmental performance does not affect mobility and accessibility in these regions in particular;

5.  Recognises that in accordance with the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the global carbon budget that is likely to limit the temperature increase to below 2°C requires global cumulative emissions between 2011 and 2100 to stay below 1010 Gtons of CO2;

6.  Believes that without a greater focus on reducing emissions from the transport sector, the overall climate targets will be impossible to reach, as transport is the only sector where greenhouse gas emissions have continued to grow (by 30 % over the last 25 years); stresses that only binding GHG reduction targets, together with the full integration of renewables into the market, a technologically neutral approach to decarbonisation, and a more fully integrated transport and investment policy that incorporates modal shift policies together with technological advancement as well as transport avoidance (e.g. through sustainable logistics, smart urban planning and integrated mobility management) will be able to achieve this;

7.  Points out that 94 % of transport – mainly in the road, air and shipping sectors – is dependent on fossil fuel and that there is therefore an urgent need for measures to accelerate progress towards early achievement of the White Paper targets by 2030, with reference to renewable fuels, electricity and low-carbon alternatives; is of the opinion that improving the energy efficiency of transport should be one of the top priorities of European transport policy; stresses the need to strongly develop the distribution channels of new sustainable and emission-free sources of energy in order to support the ambitious shift to more sustainable energy and diminish dependency on fossil fuels and imported energy;

8.  Points out that more than half of the world’s population now lives in towns and cities and that urban transport is a major contributor to GHG emissions from the transport sector; urges the Commission and the Member States, therefore, to actively raise awareness of the role of sustainable urban mobility in achieving mitigation commitments; emphasises that responsible land use and planning and sustainable transport solutions in urban areas contribute efficiently to the aim of reducing CO2 emissions; calls on the Commission to take the measures needed to strongly promote public transport, shared mobility solutions and walking and cycling possibilities, especially in densely populated areas, and to make proposals to improve EU regulation, if needed, in order to promote multimodality and new mobility and logistics services;

9.  Stresses that a good energy mix is necessary in the transport sector and can be achieved by promoting alternative vehicles running with natural gas and biogas and all policies to strengthen sustainable modes of transport, including the electrification of transport and the use of intelligent transport systems ; stresses the need to put the emphasis on railways, trams, electrified buses, electric cars and e-bicycles, to incorporate the entire lifecycle perspective, and to aim for fully exploiting renewable energy sources; strongly encourages local public transport authorities and transport operators to become frontrunners in introducing low-carbon fleet and technologies;

10. Emphasises the need for a step-by-step internalisation of climate impact from transport within a comprehensive package of measures for ‘getting prices right’ in this sector and establishing fair competition between the transport modes; calls on the Commission to ensure adequate EU financial instruments and investment funding, including Climate funds, for those projects in the transport sector which will have a positive environmental impact, while not excluding any mode of transport, and, especially, to encourage the development of sustainable urban mobility plans; calls, therefore, for a combination of several instruments, including measures to incorporate negative externalities and involving funding for research and development and for large-scale clean transport technology demonstration projects, and the creation of incentives for these technologies to be adopted;

11. Points out that both short- and long-term transport mitigation strategies are essential if deep GHG reduction ambitions are to be achieved;

12. Points out that the use of space-based assets should be considered in the implementation of measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change, particularly through the monitoring and surveillance of greenhouse gas emissions; urges the Commission to actively contribute to a global monitoring system for CO2 and CH4; calls on the Commission to promote efforts towards developing an EU system of measuring GHG emissions in an autonomous and non-dependent manner, using and expanding the missions of the Copernicus programme;

13. Stresses that the EU needs to play its leadership role responsibly, and acknowledges that if its ambition and goals are not shared in other regions of the world the EU’s competitiveness could be hampered.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

14.7.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

40

4

2

Members present for the final vote

Daniela Aiuto, Lucy Anderson, Marie-Christine Arnautu, Georges Bach, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Deirdre Clune, Michael Cramer, Luis de Grandes Pascual, Andor Deli, Isabella De Monte, Ismail Ertug, Jacqueline Foster, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Stelios Kouloglou, Merja Kyllönen, Miltiadis Kyrkos, Bogusław Liberadzki, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Georg Mayer, Gesine Meissner, Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar, Jens Nilsson, Markus Pieper, Salvatore Domenico Pogliese, Gabriele Preuß, Christine Revault D’Allonnes Bonnefoy, Dominique Riquet, Massimiliano Salini, David-Maria Sassoli, Claudia Schmidt, Claudia Tapardel, Keith Taylor, Pavel Telička, István Ujhelyi, Peter van Dalen, Wim van de Camp, Janusz Zemke, Roberts Zīle, Kosma Złotowski, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska

Substitutes present for the final vote

Ivo Belet, Bas Eickhout, Theresa Griffin, Ruža Tomašić, Henna Virkkunen

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

James Carver


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

23.9.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

55

5

8

Members present for the final vote

Marco Affronte, Margrete Auken, Pilar Ayuso, Zoltán Balczó, Ivo Belet, Simona Bonafè, Lynn Boylan, Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, Miriam Dalli, Seb Dance, Angélique Delahaye, Jørn Dohrmann, Ian Duncan, Stefan Eck, Bas Eickhout, Eleonora Evi, José Inácio Faria, Karl-Heinz Florenz, Francesc Gambús, Elisabetta Gardini, Jens Gieseke, Julie Girling, Matthias Groote, Françoise Grossetête, Andrzej Grzyb, Jytte Guteland, György Hölvényi, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Jean-François Jalkh, Benedek Jávor, Karin Kadenbach, Kateřina Konečná, Giovanni La Via, Peter Liese, Norbert Lins, Valentinas Mazuronis, Susanne Melior, Miroslav Mikolášik, Gilles Pargneaux, Piernicola Pedicini, Pavel Poc, Frédérique Ries, Michèle Rivasi, Daciana Octavia Sârbu, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Renate Sommer, Tibor Szanyi, Estefanía Torres Martínez, Nils Torvalds, Damiano Zoffoli

Substitutes present for the final vote

Guillaume Balas, Nikolay Barekov, Paul Brannen, Renata Briano, Mireille D’Ornano, Albert Deß, Herbert Dorfmann, Ismail Ertug, Giorgos Grammatikakis, Martin Häusling, Gesine Meissner, Anne-Marie Mineur, Ulrike Müller, James Nicholson, Marijana Petir, Bolesław G. Piecha, Gabriele Preuß, Jadwiga Wiśniewska

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