Procedure : 2019/2582(RSP)
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Document selected : B8-0202/2019

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Debates :

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PV 14/03/2019 - 11.15
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Texts adopted :


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<TitreSuite>to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission</TitreSuite>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>

<Titre>on climate change - a European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy</Titre>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Peter Liese, Christian Ehler</Depute>

<Commission>{PPE}on behalf of the PPE Group</Commission>


See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0195/2019


European Parliament resolution on climate change - a European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy


The European Parliament,

 having regard to the Commission communication of 28 November 2018 entitled ‘A Clean Planet for all – A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy’ (COM(2018)0773),

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

 having regard to the Paris Agreement, Decision 1/CP.21, to the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UNFCCC and to the 11th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP11), held in Paris, France from 30 November to 11 December 2015,

 having regard to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),

 having regard to its resolution of 25 October 2018 on the 2018 UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland (COP24)[1],

 having regard to the Clean Energy Package,

 having regard to the questions to the Council and to the Commission on the strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions reduction by the EU in accordance with the Paris Agreement (O-000007/2019 – B8‑0000/2019 and O-000008/2019 – B8‑0000/2019) and on a European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy (O-000016/2019 – B8‑0000/2019 and O-000017/2019 – B8‑0000/2019),

 having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

 having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy,

 having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

1. Welcomes the Commission communication on the long-term strategy entitled ‘A Clean Planet for all – A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy’, which underlines the opportunities and challenges that the transformation towards a net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) economy brings to European citizens and Europe’s economy, and sets the basis for a wide debate involving EU institutions, national parliaments, the business sector, non-governmental organisations, cities and communities, as well as citizens; endorses the objective of net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 and urges the Member States to do the same as part of the Future of Europe debate at the special EU summit in Sibiu in May 2019;

2. Believes that Europe can lead the way to climate neutrality by investing in innovative technological solutions, empowering citizens, and aligning action in key areas such as energy, industrial policy and research, while ensuring social fairness for a just transition;

3. Agrees with the strategic areas identified by the Commission where joint action is required, and supports energy efficiency, the deployment of renewables and the global competitiveness of EU industry;

4. Stresses the importance of the various climate measures and legislation introduced in different policy domains, but warns that a scattered approach might lead to inconsistencies and not to the EU achieving a net-zero GHG economy by 2050; believes that an overarching approach needs to be taken;

5. Agrees with the EU’s goal of achieving a net-zero GHG economy by 2050 as set out in the Commission’s communication; asks the Member States to agree on a strategy to achieve this goal at the special EU summit in Sibiu in May 2019, and calls on the Member States to commit to the required level of ambition in order to achieve this goal;

Energy policy

6. Highlights the central role of energy in the transition towards a net-zero GHG economy;

7. Recalls that the Union has managed to successfully decouple GHG emissions from economic growth in recent decades and has reduced emissions, particularly through energy efficiency and the penetration of renewables;

8. Highlights the contribution of energy efficiency to security of supply, economic competitiveness, environmental protection, the reduction of energy bills and the improvement of the quality of homes; confirms the important role of energy efficiency in the creation of business opportunities and employment, as well as its global and regional benefits; calls therefore for the Energy Efficiency First principle to be used in a cost-efficient way as a basis for pathways towards a net-zero GHG economy by 2050;

9. Stresses that the clean energy transition should continue to spur the modernisation of the European economy, drive sustainable economic growth and bring societal and environmental benefits for European citizens;

10. Believes that EU leadership in renewable energy and energy efficiency demonstrates to other parts of the world that the clean energy transition is both possible and beneficial beyond the fight against climate change;

11. Points out that achieving a net-zero GHG economy will require considerable additional investments in the EU’s energy system and related infrastructure compared to today’s baseline, in the range of EUR 175 to 290 billion a year;

12. Stresses, in view of the different starting points of the energy transition, that efforts to reduce greenhouse gases with a view to achieving climate neutrality at EU level may be spread unevenly across the EU;

13. Underlines that completing the internal energy market is pivotal for cutting emissions; in this regard, calls on Member States to implement the Clean Energy Package without delay; recalls the competence of the Member States to decide on their energy mix within the EU climate and energy framework;

14. Believes that the EU’s energy market needs to be better connected and that priority needs to be given to building the missing infrastructure links in both gas and electricity markets; asks Member States that have not yet done so to make the investments required to meet the electricity interconnection target as laid down in Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action;

15. Considers that technological developments and solutions, energy efficiency, sustainable renewable energy and the full integration of the internal energy market will be key;

Social aspects of climate change and just transition

16. Welcomes the Commission’s assertion that net-zero emissions are possible without net job losses and takes positive note of the detailed assessment of the transition in energy intensive industries; highlights the finding that, if handled well and with the appropriate support for the most vulnerable regions, sectors and citizens, a just transition towards net-zero GHG emissions has the potential to create a net gain of jobs in the Union – economy-wide employment will increase by 2.1 million jobs by 2050 under a net-zero emissions scenario compared to an employment increase of 1.3 million jobs under the 80 % emission reduction scenario, if adequately funded; considers, therefore, that the Commission should develop a renewed skills audit under the EU Skills Panorama, with regional data on the skills needs for a climate-neutral Europe to support the most vulnerable regions, sectors and people in re-skilling for future-proof, high-quality jobs in these same regions;

17. Underlines the need for an anticipatory approach to ensure a just transition for EU citizens and to support regions whose economies depend on activities linked to sectors or technologies that are expected to decline or will have to transform in the future;

18. Underlines that more action and greater efforts towards clean energy transition would be required in certain EU regions, such as coal regions; reiterates, in this context, its appeal for a specific allocation of EUR 4.8 billion for a new Just Energy Transition Fund to be introduced into the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 in order to support workers and communities in such regions adversely affected by this transition;

19. Welcomes the fact that people across Europe are becoming increasingly active in demonstrating for climate justice; welcomes the calls from these activists for greater ambition and believes that national, regional and local governments, as well as the EU, should heed these calls;

20. Calls on all levels of government, whether national, regional or local, to put in place measures to encourage the participation of citizens in the energy transition and to stimulate the exchange of best practices;

Climate and energy targets

21. Welcomes the strong medium-term targets adopted by the EU for 2030 which should remain constant in order to provide sufficient stability for market investment, fully harness the potential of technological innovation and strengthen the possibilities for Europe’s businesses to become global market leaders in low-emission technologies;

22. Stresses that in order to reach net-zero GHG emissions in 2050 in the most cost-efficient manner, priority must be given to the stable, predictable and ambitious implementation of the adopted 2030 Clean Energy Package targets;

23. Points to the review clauses for the 2030 climate energy targets, and calls on the Commission to assess whether an increase is in line with the cost-efficient pathway to a net-zero economy by 2050 and whether this is economically feasible when global competition is taken into account;

24. Believes that, as a means to further ensure increased stability for markets, it will also be beneficial for the EU to establish a further interim emission reduction target by 2040 that can provide additional stability and ensure that the long-term 2050 target is met;

Industrial policy

25. Reiterates that the transition towards a net-zero GHG economy presents challenges and opportunities for the EU, and that investments in industrial innovation, including digital technologies and clean technology, will be needed to spur growth, strengthen competitiveness, boost future skills and create millions of jobs, for example in a growing circular economy and bioeconomy;

26. Believes that economic prosperity, global industrial competitiveness and climate policy are mutually reinforcing;

27. Highlights the role of energy-intensive industries in achieving long-term EU GHG reductions; considers that maintaining the EU’s low-carbon industrial leadership and industrial production in the EU, preserving the competitiveness of European industries and preventing the risk of carbon and investment leakage necessitate intelligent and targeted policy frameworks; calls on the Commission to present a new and integrated EU industrial climate strategy for energy-intensive industries in support of a competitive heavy industry transition;

28. Calls on the Commission to develop an industrial strategy with measures that enable European industry to compete globally on a level playing field; considers that as part of this policy, the Commission should examine the effectiveness, and compatibility with World Trade Organisation rules, of additional measures to protect industries at risk of carbon leakage in respect of the importation of products, which would replace, adapt or complement any existing measures on carbon leakage;

29. Underlines that a stable and predictable energy and climate policy framework is key to providing much-needed investor confidence and to enabling European industries to make long-term investment decisions in Europe, since the lifetime of most industrial installations exceeds 20 years;

30. Calls for rapid implementation of the EU ETS Innovation Fund and for the start of the first call for proposals in 2019, in order to boost investments in the demonstration of low-carbon industrial breakthrough technologies in a wide array of sectors, not only electricity production, but also district heating and industrial processes;

31. Stresses that the State Aid Guidelines are an effective tool to support the required transformation in industry and must therefore be adapted accordingly to address the global competitiveness concerns of European industries;

Contributions of other sectors

32. Underlines that in order to achieve climate neutrality for the EU economy as a whole, all sectors must contribute, including international aviation and shipping; notes that the Commission’s analysis shows that the current global targets and measures envisaged by the International Maritime Organisation and the International Civil Aviation Organisation respectively, even if fully implemented, fall short of the necessary emissions reductions, and that significant further action consistent with the economy-wide objective of net-zero emissions is needed; highlights the need for investments in zero- and low-carbon technologies and fuels in these sectors; calls on the Commission to put the ‘polluter pays’ principle into practice in these sectors; recalls that GHG emissions from international shipping are projected to increase by as much as 250 % by 2050; welcomes the fact that the international shipping sector has set itself an absolute reduction target for GHG emissions; notes with concern the lack of progress as regards the translation of this target into short- and medium-term measures and other concrete actions; notes the different burden borne by different modes of transport; calls for the increased income to be used to promote environmentally friendly modes of transport such as buses or railways;

33. Supports active and sustainable forest management at national level, together with concrete means to incentivise an efficient and sustainable EU bioeconomy, given the considerable potential of forests to contribute to the strengthening of Europe’s climate efforts (through sequestration, storage and substitution) and the achievement of the target of zero emissions by 2050; recognises the need for climate change adaptation and to halt biodiversity loss and the degradation of ecosystem services in the EU, and the need to develop evidence-based polices that help implement and finance EU biodiversity conservation measures;

Research and innovation

34. Underlines that EU and national research and innovation programmes are crucial to supporting the Union in its leading role in the fight against climate change;

35. Believes that industrial mainstreaming should be integrated adequately into the preparation and implementation of research and innovation programmes;

36. Draws attention to the report of the High-Level Panel on Decarbonisation Pathways (HLP)[2] on the role of research and innovation in achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement while putting the EU at a competitive advantage in the decarbonisation race; notes the set of thematic and cross-cutting recommendations produced by the HLP, particularly with regard to the orientation of the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation 2021-2027 – Horizon Europe;

37. Considers that substantial research and innovation efforts will be required in the next two decades to make low- and zero-carbon solutions available to all and socially and economically viable, and to bring about new solutions for achieving a net-zero GHG economy;

The EU and global climate action

38. Regrets the fact that many other major economies are not yet working on 2050 strategies and that there is almost no debate in other major economies about increasing the NDCs to bring them into line with the global target under the Paris Agreement; asks the Council and the Commission, therefore, to increase climate diplomacy and to take other appropriate measures to encourage other major economies, so that together we can achieve the long-term Paris Agreement targets;

39. Highlights the importance of strong EU climate and energy diplomacy and leadership in strengthening global and multilateral cooperation and ambition in the fight against climate change and for sustainable development; calls on the Commission and the Member States to advocate common frameworks and action within UN fora;

40. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.


[1] Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0430.

[2] Final Report of the High-Level Panel of the European Decarbonisation Pathways Initiative, European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, November 2018.

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