Motion for a resolution - B7-0064/2010Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the outcome of the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change (COP 15)


to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission
pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Corien Wortmann-Kool, Karl-Heinz Florenz, Richard Seeber, Peter Liese, Vera Pilar del Castillo, Romana Jordan Cizelj, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Theodoros Skylakakis, Maria Da Graça Carvalho, on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0064/2010

Procedure : 2009/2619(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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Texts adopted :


European Parliament resolution on the outcome of the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change (COP 15)

The European Parliament,

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

–   having regard to the fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the UNFCCC and the fifth Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 5) held in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 7 to 18 December 2009, and to the signed final Accord,

–   having regard to the climate and energy package adopted by Parliament on 17 December 2008, in particular Directive 2009/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to improve and extend the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading system of the Community[1] and Decision No 406/2009/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the effort of Member States to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to meet the Community’s greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments up to 2020[2],

–   having regard to its previous resolutions regarding climate change, and in particular those of 4 February 2009 on ‘2050: The future begins today – Recommendations for the EU’s future integrated policy on climate change’[3] and of 11 March 2009 on ‘an EU strategy for a comprehensive climate change agreement in Copenhagen and the adequate provision of financing for climate change policy’[4],

–   having regard to the oral questions by ... to the Commission and to the Council on the EU strategy for the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change (COP 15) (O-0000/2009 – B7-0000/2009, O-0000/2009 – B7-0000/2009),

–   having regard to the hearing of the Commissioner-designate for Climate Action, Ms Connie Hedegaard, of 15 January 2010,

–   having regard to the Council and Commission statements on the outcome of the Copenhagen summit on climate change, made on 20 January 2010,

–   having regard to the next conference, COP-16, to be held in Mexico,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas negotiations on a comprehensive international post-2012 agreement on climate change which were due to be concluded in Copenhagen in December 2009, ended with a disappointing Accord which did not fulfil the EU expectations,

B.  whereas the Accord did not include any binding agreement and no long-term targets,

C. whereas the explicit inclusion of the 2 °C target in the Accord can be judged a historic step,

D. whereas the emission reduction figures offered by the parties were not sufficient to reach the 2 ºC objective and whereas the current pledged commitments by the different countries will by no means meet the CO2 reduction requirements stated by the IPCC, which speak only of 700-800 billion tonnes of CO2 to be emitted by 2050,

E.  whereas the developing and emerging economies and also the USA recognised their co-responsibility and acknowledged their need to commit to action to reduce emissions,

F.  whereas the EU was not able to express its leading role in the fight against climate change and was not even involved in the final negotiations with the USA, China, India, Brazil and South Africa on the final draft of the Accord,

G. whereas the outcome of Copenhagen has left international climate negotiations in abeyance and the coming months will be crucial for having a critical look at the past months and thus overcoming current setbacks in the process,

1.  Regrets the weakness of the Accord achieved at the COP-15; concedes, however, that it represents a sufficient basis for progress towards the preparation and success of the next COP-16, as it contains some positive elements, such as the general consensus to limit global warming to 2 °C above the pre-industrial level, and provides for a review of this objective and actions under the Accord by 2015, with a reference to exploring pathways for remaining below a 1.5 ° C global temperature increase;

2.  Welcomes the commitment by the emerging economies to reducing emissions, and the references to developing countries, which will have to submit national reports on their emission reductions under a verification method;

3.  Notes that the Accord includes wording on a USD 100 billion annual fund from developed countries by 2020 and the sum of USD 30 bn for developing countries over the next three years (2010-2012), to help fight climate change and the establishing of a green climate fund to support projects in developing countries related to deforestation and forest degradation, provided that all forms of finance are monitored;

4.  Agrees with the setting up of a mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and enhancing the removal of greenhouse gas emissions by forests, and the establishment of a Technology Mechanism to accelerate technology development and transfer, and welcomes the reference to the role of markets in enhancing the cost-effectiveness of mitigation actions;

5.  Expresses its satisfaction at the action on adaptation, especially in those developing countries that are particularly vulnerable (particularly LDCs, small island developing states and Africa);

6.  Regrets that the USA and China were not prepared to accept a more ambitious agreement for internal policy reasons and that together with some third countries (Cuba, Nicaragua, Sudan and Venezuela) they adopted a blocking attitude in the international negotiations in order to avoid strict and binding commitments, in spite of the high level of political momentum in Copenhagen;

7.  Is of the opinion that further discussion of measures such as border tax adjustments or other sanctions will aggravate the current dissonance and not help the conclusion of an international climate agreement;

8.  Regrets that the Copenhagen Accord does not contain any wording on an international agreement on aviation and shipping, but notes that the legal documents agreed in Copenhagen keep the issue on the agenda and repeats its pledge for an international agreement to include aviation and shipping emissions;

9.  Regrets that the EU failed to maintain its leadership in the international framework, and urges the EU to learn from the outcome of COP-15 and, with the aim of achieving a more united, decisive and influential European presence, to re-think its strategy in order to keep its leading role in the fight against climate change;

10. Believes that there are lessons to be learned from the COP-15 outcome so as to allow successful achievements at the COP-16 in Mexico this year;

11. Underlines that new, global approaches like the budget approach should be discussed and provide new inspiration for the debate; furthermore believes that such new approaches in global climate policy need to combine economic efficiency and a global partnership in development and at the same time hold all countries, including emerging economies, to account for climate responsibility;

12. Is convinced that if Europe invests in a sustainable future, it will bring about solutions that at the same time can help the climate, energy security and reduced energy dependency, resource efficiency, industrial competiveness and job creation;

13. Is of the opinion that there is a need for better communication of the possibilities that climate protection offers, including for securing growth in future and helping countries which are not yet as developed as the EU not to commit the same mistakes as countries in the EU have done;

14. Insists that the EU, guided by its rationale of solidarity, must on the one hand bring together partners in a new spirit of mutual respect and responsibility, while on the other hand strengthening ‘bottom-up’ approaches (e.g. public-private partnerships, investment in new technologies and research, and measures to foster technology-, innovation-, or energy-oriented climate partnerships with China, India and other emerging economies) in order to generate new impetus by citizens;

15. Emphasises that the most important element to be successful for the EU is to speak with one voice in order to be adequately considered by the other negotiating parties and to be considered as a main or at least as an equivalent weighty interlocutor;

16. Recommends that the EU should be represented by one single negotiator at future conferences in order to underline Europe’s common position;

17. Stresses the need to encourage all climate-friendly sources of energy production if Europe is to meet climate-change goals while ensuring security of energy supply; considers it essential that the EU and its Member States increase investment in clean technologies, in energy-related research and in energy and resource efficiency in order to underpin the EU’s credibility and its leading role at international level;

18. Shares the view that in addition to negotiating on specific reduction targets the potential of energy efficiency as substantial and inexpensive contribution to climate-change mitigation should be outlined more clearly at international level; is convinced that an international agreement on energy efficiency should be part of the result of the upcoming climate talks in Mexico City;

19. Calls on the EU and its Member States not to accept one-sided commitments at the expense of the competitiveness of EU industries; finds it essential that comparable efforts are accepted by other industrialised nations outside the EU, together with reasonable reduction commitments by developing and emerging economies; points out that reduction targets must be measurable, reportable and verifiable;

20. Calls for thorough discussion on the best choice of instruments to achieve emission reductions at global level, including a critical assessment of EU positions in this context; nevertheless believes that preference should be given to the application of market-based instruments, as such instruments enable mandatory reduction targets to be met at the lowest possible social cost;

21. Urges the developed countries to invest more in research on novel and advanced technologies for climate-friendly and energy-efficient production processes; considers it essential for Europe to lead by example by substantially increasing expenditure dedicated to research on climate-friendly technologies within the Research Framework Programme;

22. Proposes, in the framework of the common international actions to effectively reduce global CO2 emissions, to develop a global, bottom-up sectoral approach on energy-intensive consumption industries; points out that under this approach emission targets for those industries around the world, plus transfer of technology as a stimulus instrument, have proved very effective in countries such as Japan and are now starting to be developed by the Asian Pacific Partnership;

23. Considers that the Mexico City Climate Change Summit will be an excellent opportunity for signing an agreement to develop a bottom-up, global sectoral approach policy on energy-intensive consumption industries; considers that such an international agreement should comprise the indispensable participation of the United States, China, India and Brazil;

24. Stresses that it is fundamental that the EU maintains its ambitious targets to fight against climate change and to keep its provisions on carbon leakage as well as the market-based mechanism and ETS, but that it should be prepared to be more flexible as regards moving on from the Kyoto Protocol to possible voluntary-based commitments by other countries, provided that they also take practical action to reduce emissions in a significant way;

25. Underlines the fact that – in light of the other nations’ commitment declared on 31 January – the EU should communicate better its willingness to move to a 30 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, provided that the other countries are ready to commit themselves to taking adequate action too, based on the principle of a ‘common but differentiated responsibility’ and, at a more general level, the EU should scrutinise whether relying on national self-commitments is an appropriate global strategy, in terms of both ambition and enforceability;

26. Acknowledges that one of the future main challenges is not only the CO2 reduction but also a more efficient and sustainable use of natural resources, which will be a key issue in the near future;

27. Considers that the bilateral meetings between the European Parliament and the national parliaments can substantially contribute to the debate and facilitate understanding among the parties; therefore envisages holding these meetings before the beginning of the official negotiations in order to contribute in a more meaningful way to the best possible outcome of the negotiations;

28. Underlines that there is a need to create a new ‘climate diplomacy’ in the EU and to strengthen alliances with the World’s powerful countries as well as with more progressive developing countries like Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica and the Maldives; is furthermore of the opinion that in order to enhance future negotiation processes, the EU needs to help ensure a better flow of information and better feedback, particularly into and within heterogeneous groups such as the G-77;

29. Urges the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to review the working methods of the international negotiations, in particular regarding the role of national leaders and publicly announced positions before the negotiations have finished, to ensure that draft texts to be agreed on are adequately prepared in advance and that the negotiating parties have the necessary decision-making power to make the process more efficient and effective;

30. Calls for a closer link between EU policies on external affairs and on climate action; is convinced that climate change should be given high significance on the EU’s external action agenda; and therefore urges the EU to speak with one voice to maintain its leading role in the next negotiations and to be represented in the High-level segment of COP-16 by the President of the Commission, Mr Barroso, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Ashton, and the Commissioner for Climate Action, Ms Hedegaard;

31. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, with the request that it be circulated to all non-EU contracting parties.