Motion for a resolution - B9-0521/2021Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, UK (COP26)

13.10.2021 - (2021/2667(RSP))

further to Questions for Oral Answer B9‑0000/2021 and B9‑0000/2021
pursuant to Rule 136(5) of the Rules of Procedure

Pascal Canfin, Lídia Pereira, Javi López, Nils Torvalds, Pär Holmgren, Catherine Griset, Petros Kokkalis
on behalf of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

Procedure : 2021/2667(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  


European Parliament resolution on the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, UK (COP26)


The European Parliament,

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

 having regard to the Agreement adopted at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP21) in Paris on 12 December 2015 (the Paris Agreement),

 having regard to the 25th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP25), the 15th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP15), and the second session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA2), held in Madrid, Spain, from 2 to 13 December 2019,

 having regard to the decision of the Bureau of the UNFCCC COP of 28 May 2020, together with the UK and its Italian partners, to postpone the COP26 UN Climate Conference due to COVID-19 and to reconvene it in Glasgow, UK from 1 to 12 November 2021,

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

 having regard to the global Climate Adaptation Summit held on 25 and 26 January 2021,

 having regard to Regulation (EU) 2021/1119 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 June 2021 establishing the framework for achieving climate neutrality (‘European Climate Law’)[1],

 having regard to its resolution of 28 November 2019 on the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain (COP25)[2],

 having regard to its resolution of 28 November 2019 on the climate and environment emergency[3],

 having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2020 on the European Green Deal[4],

 having regard to its resolution of 16 September 2020 on the EU’s role in protecting and restoring the world’s forests[5],

 having regard to its resolution of 17 December 2020 on the EU strategy on adaptation to climate change[6],

 having regard to its resolution of 28 April 2021 on soil protection[7],

 having regard to its resolution of 9 June 2021 on the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030: Bringing nature back into our lives[8],

 having regard to the Commission communication of 11 December 2019 on the European Green Deal (COM(2019)0640),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 11 March 2020 entitled ‘A new Circular Economy Action Plan for a cleaner and more competitive Europe’ (COM(2020)0098),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 24 February 2021 entitled ‘Forging a climate-resilient Europe – the new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change’ (COM(2021)0082),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 14 October 2021 on an EU strategy to reduce methane emissions (COM(2020)0663),

 having regard to the Council conclusions of 25 January 2021 on climate and energy diplomacy – delivering on the external dimension of the European Green Deal,

 having regard to the Council conclusions of 6 October 2021 on preparations for the UNFCCC meetings in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November 2021,

 having regard to the global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES),

 having regard to the special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on global warming of 1.5 °C, its fifth assessment report and its synthesis report thereon, its special report on climate change and land, and its special report on the ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate,

 having regard to the report of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice of 29 April 2021 entitled ‘Ocean and climate change dialogue to consider how to strengthen adaptation and mitigation action’,

 having regard to the flagship report of the Global Commission on Adaptation of 10 September 2019 entitled ‘Adapt now: a global call for leadership on climate resilience’,

 having regard to the UNFCCC synthesis report of 17 September 2021 on nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement,

 having regard to the UN Environment Programme’s 11th emissions gap report of 9 December 2020,

 having regard to the report of the International Energy Agency of May 2021 entitled ‘Net Zero by 2050 – A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector’,

 having regard to the UN Environment Programme report of 18 February 2021 entitled ‘Making Peace with Nature: a scientific blueprint to tackle the climate, biodiversity and pollution emergencies’,

 having regard to the IPBES report of 29 October 2020 entitled ‘IPBES workshop on biodiversity and pandemics – workshop report’,

 having regard to the co-sponsored IPBES-IPCC workshop report on biodiversity and climate change of 10 June 2021,

 having regard to the report of the World Meteorological Organization of April 2021 on the state of the global climate in 2020,

 having regard to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030,

 having regard to the UN Environment Programme report of 6 May 2021 entitled ‘Global Methane Assessment: Benefits and Costs of Mitigating Methane Emissions’,

 having regard to the questions to the Council and the Commission on the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, UK (COP26) (O‑000065 – B9‑0000/2021 and O-000066 – B9‑0000/2021),

 having regard to Rules 136(5) and 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

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

A. whereas the Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016; whereas as of 12 October 2021, 191 of the 197 Parties to the UNFCCC had filed their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the UN;

B. whereas on 17 December 2020, the EU and its Member States submitted their updated nationally determined contribution (NDC) to the UNFCCC, which commits the EU to a binding target of an economy-wide net domestic reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of at least 55 % by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, without a contribution from international credits;

C. whereas according to the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) emissions gap report 2020, the commitments made so far by the signatories of the Paris Agreement will not be sufficient to achieve its common goal and will result in global warming of more than 3 °C above pre-industrial levels; deplores the fact that many Parties to the UNFCCC have not yet taken sufficient action to even be on the pathway to meeting their NDCs and that much of the progress made is being offset by counterproductive policies such as continued subsidies for fossil fuels and the construction of new coal plants; warns, in this context, of positive natural feedback loops, which could have catastrophic consequences in terms of global heating;

D. whereas the concentration of the major GHGs continued to increase in 2020, despite the temporary reduction in emissions related to COVID-19, and whereas the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere was the highest for over 3 million years, according to the World Meteorological Organization; whereas 2020 was one of the three warmest years on record, with average temperatures of 1.2º C above pre-industrial levels; whereas the last decade (2011-2020) was the warmest on record;

E. whereas domestic EU policies alone are not enough to curb global GHG emissions and limit the temperature rise in line with the Paris Agreement; whereas collective, immediate and ambitious global action is crucial to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels;

F. whereas the preamble to the Paris Agreement recognises the ‘importance of ensuring the integrity of all ecosystems, including oceans’, and whereas Article 4(1)(d) of the UNFCCC stresses that the Parties thereto shall promote sustainable management, and the conservation and enhancement of sinks and reservoirs of all GHGs, including biomass, forests and oceans as well as other terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems; whereas Article 2(1)(b) of the Paris Agreement stresses that climate change adaptation and the development of resilience and low GHG emissions should be done in a manner that does not threaten food production; whereas the IPBES global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services underlines that the sustainable use of nature will be vital for adapting to and mitigating dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system;

G. whereas climate change impacts and biodiversity loss are two of the most important challenges and risks for human societies; notes that most previous policies have tackled the problems of climate change and biodiversity loss independently;

H. whereas the global Aichi biodiversity targets for 2020 were not met, making it all the more urgent for biodiversity conservation to rapidly expand in ambition and scope;

I. whereas the preservation of the oceans is crucial, not only as a primary source of food, but also for their importance to the carbon cycle, regulating the climate and producing most of the oxygen in the air we breathe; whereas the IPCC special report on the ocean and cryosphere specifies that climate mechanisms depend on the health of the oceans and that marine ecosystems are currently affected by global warming, pollution, the overexploitation of marine biodiversity, acidification, deoxygenation and coastal erosion; whereas the report also recalls that since 1970, oceans have got progressively warmer and have absorbed more than 90 % of the excess heat in the climate system, and that oceans are part of the solution to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change; whereas it is therefore necessary to reduce GHG emissions and the pollution of ecosystems and to enhance natural carbon sinks;

J. whereas nature-based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches play a key role in climate change mitigation and adaptation; whereas the protection and restoration of natural carbon sinks that already exist and function effectively, including carbon reservoirs in the oceans, is vital;

K. whereas forests have a major role to play in the fight against climate change as they act as carbon sinks, absorbing around 2 billion tonnes of CO2 per year; whereas protecting and enhancing the world’s forests is one of the most cost-effective forms of climate action and whereas, if fully implemented, forest-based climate change mitigation and adaptation actions could reduce GHG emissions by around 15 gigatonnes of CO2 a year by 2050, which could potentially be enough to limit global warming to well below 2º C;

L. whereas reducing deforestation and forest degradation can contribute to the reduction of human-caused GHG emissions by a wide range, from 0.4 to 5.8 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent each year[9];

M. whereas a quarter of the Northern Hemisphere is covered in permanently frozen ground, also known as permafrost; whereas as a result of rising global temperatures, the Arctic permafrost is thawing at an unprecedented speed; whereas permafrost is a massive reservoir for GHG with the potential to hold up to 1 600 gigatonnes of CO2 – nearly twice that currently in the atmosphere – but also methane and nitrous oxide; whereas its release could seriously accelerate and aggravate global warming[10];

N. whereas according to the World Health Organization, projected climate change will cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths a year by 2030 and the costs of direct damage to health are estimated at between USD 2 and 4 billion per year by 2030;

O. whereas biodiversity loss associated with the transformation of landscapes can lead to a higher emerging risk of disease in some cases, where species that adapt well to human-dominated landscapes are also able to harbour pathogens that pose a high risk of zoonotic transmission;

P. whereas air pollution and climate change are closely interlinked and share some of the same anthropogenic sources; whereas according to the World Health Organization, ambient air pollution accounts for an estimated 4.2 million deaths worldwide every year due to stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and acute and chronic respiratory diseases;

Q. whereas according to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, the number of disasters recorded and the scale of economic losses have nearly doubled in the last 20 years, much of which is due to a significant rise in the number of climate-related disasters;

R. whereas climate change and its devastating effects are already influencing migration patterns; whereas according to a World Bank study from 2018, almost 3 % of the population of the regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America could be forced to move within their own countries to escape the slow-onset impacts of climate change[11]; whereas without concerted adaptation efforts, more than 700 million people living in low-lying coastal areas and small island states risk facing more intense storms, flooding and ultimately land loss and relocation;

S. whereas the Paris Agreement is the first international treaty to explicitly recognise the link between climate action and human rights, thereby allowing the use of existing human rights-related legal instruments to urge states and private corporations to reduce emissions; whereas there are no concrete instruments within the Paris Agreement to hold state and corporate actors accountable for their impact on climate change and the exercise of human rights;

T. whereas climate change also has a significant human rights dimension, as it directly and indirectly affects the realisation of a number of universally recognised human rights, with the greatest impact on vulnerable groups such as women, children, older people, people who are sick, low-income groups and indigenous peoples; whereas both the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement are based on intergenerational solidarity and the commitment of states to protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations; whereas climate change aggravates the challenges indigenous peoples currently face and leads to even deeper cultural, economic and political marginalisation and inequalities;

U. whereas climate action is one of the UN SDGs adopted by all UN member states in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;

V. whereas in 2009 the Parties to the UNFCCC made a commitment to mobilise USD 100 billion per year as of 2020, which was later reaffirmed in the Paris Agreement; whereas the actual pledges of developed countries are still falling a long way short of the collective goal however; whereas climate change impacts and needs in developing countries, in particular least developed countries and small island developing states, have increased;

W. whereas the UN Development Programme estimates that USD 140-300 billion will be needed every year by 2030 to cover the adaptation needs of developing countries alone, rising to USD 280-500 billion every year by 2050[12];

X. whereas the unfortunate one-year delay of the 2020 Conferences of the Parties to the UNFCCC and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) due to the outbreak of COVID-19 provides a unique opportunity to switch from a reactive model to a proactive and precautionary model and ultimately bring about the transformative change that is needed; whereas new scientific advances should inform and strengthen the links between international agendas and their implementation at national level;

Y. whereas while the world deals with the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis has not gone away; whereas the economic recovery should be used as a unique opportunity to accelerate the pace of transition towards climate neutrality and ensure a 1.5 °C pathway by developing a socioeconomic model that is compatible with the planetary boundaries and channelling investments into the restoration of natural ecosystems and thereby strengthen ecosystem adaptive capacity, as well as into priority areas such as energy efficiency, sustainable food production, renewable energy technologies, innovative and sustainable zero-emission technologies and the necessary related infrastructure, and diverting investments away from activities that are harming the climate and the environment, by streamlining the ‘do no significant harm’ principle across investment decisions; whereas in this transition process, due account should be taken of the differences in needs and capacities between regions, while respecting the principles of a just transition;

Z. whereas according to the European Environment Agency, ‘systemic change’ means a fundamental, transformative and cross-cutting form of change that entails major shifts in and a reorientation of systems’ goals, incentives, technologies, social practices and norms, as well as in knowledge systems and governance approaches; whereas for core societal systems, this means rethinking not only technologies and production processes but also consumption patterns and ways of living in view of more sustainable alternatives that focus on, for example, well-being and resilience[13];

AA. whereas nature-based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches have the potential to provide strong policy links between the UNFCCC, the CBD and the other Rio Convention on Desertification, providing an opportunity for the presidencies and secretariats of all three agreements to work together to address climate change and biodiversity loss in an integrated and coherent manner;

AB. whereas the European Green Deal and the NextGenerationEU plan are a unique opportunity to strengthen the EU economy and make it more innovative, competitive and future-oriented, thereby providing for European leadership on the green economy and developing the European social model and social market economy;

AC. whereas climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply and economic growth are projected to be much higher with global warming of 2 °C; whereas limiting global warming to 1.5 °C compared to 2 °C is projected to reduce the impacts on terrestrial, freshwater and coastal ecosystems and to retain more of their services to humans; whereas it is therefore imperative to pursue efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels;

AD. whereas the EU’s leadership through example is crucial to engaging third countries in the fight against climate change and thus raise the level of global climate ambition;

AE. whereas the EU must acknowledge and act upon its responsibility for historical GHG emissions and the development gap between the Global North and Global South;

AF. whereas in accordance with Article 2(1)(c) of the Paris Agreement, making financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low GHG emissions and climate-resilient development is crucial to combating the threat of climate change;

AG. whereas public awareness and citizens’ involvement in climate action is growing; whereas citizens demand more action from governments and ambitious measures to address climate change;

AH. whereas the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol concluded on 31 December 2020; whereas the guidance on how to consider emissions reductions of clean development mechanism activities beyond 31 December 2020 was postponed; whereas temporary measures have been introduced to extend the clean development mechanism activities beyond 2020; whereas the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol is scheduled to meet in conjunction with COP26 in Glasgow;

1. Recalls that climate change and biodiversity loss are among the most important challenges facing humanity and that all governments worldwide must do their utmost to fight them without delay; underlines that international cooperation, the involvement of non-state actors, solidarity and coherent action underpinned by science and an unwavering commitment to ramping up ambition are necessary to fulfil our collective responsibility of limiting global warming and preventing biodiversity loss, and thus safeguard the entire planet and the well-being of all; takes note, in this regard, of the call from UN Secretary-General António Guterres urging all governments around the world to declare a state of climate emergency until the world has reached net-zero GHG emissions;

2. Expresses concern at the findings of the UNEP’s emissions gap report 2020, most notably the fact that despite a temporary dip in CO2 emissions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, predicted emissions under the submitted unconditional NDCs, if fully implemented, would leave the world on a path to a 3.2 °C temperature rise; welcomes the updates to the NDCs announced so far, which have raised climate ambition; notes with concern, however, that these contributions will still not be enough to put emissions on a path to reaching the goal of the Paris Agreement; is alarmed by the UNFCCC NDC synthesis report of September 2021, which found that taken together, all NDCs as submitted before 30 July 2021 imply a sizeable increase in global GHG emissions in 2030 compared to 2010 – around 16 %; highlights that according to the IPCC, the pathway to 1.5 °C translates to global emissions reductions of at least 45 % by 2030 compared to 2010 levels;

3. Recalls a recent decision by a constitutional court which ruled that the protection of the climate is not at political discretion and that the provisions on environmental protection in the constitution impose a constitutional duty on the state to achieve climate neutrality;

4. Underlines that according to the emissions gap report 2020, a green recovery from the pandemic could shave around 25 % off GHG emissions by 2030, putting them within the range of emissions that provide a 66 % chance of keeping temperatures to below 2 °C, albeit still not enough to limit global warming to 1.5 °C; underlines, therefore, that the recovery measures could strongly influence whether the targets of the Paris Agreement are met; calls on the governments to make every effort to implement a green recovery while strengthening their pledges in line with the Paris Agreement goals and to enhance their NDCs before COP26, adopting science-based policies; stresses that according to recent research, meeting the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement represents an ‘economically optimal’ climate policy[14];

5. Welcomes the G7’s commitment to make ambitious and accelerated efforts to reduce emissions to keep the limit of a 1.5 °C temperature rise within reach[15]; recalls that this would bring about numerous co-benefits for the environment, the economy, society and public health; highlights the growing number of countries committing to net-zero emissions goals by mid-century; underlines, however, that these commitments must be urgently translated into strong short-term policies, action and financial resources, and reflected in their revised NDCs to be submitted before COP26 in the form of increased 2030 climate targets in order for global emissions to peak as soon as possible; urges the G20 to take a leading role in raising both short-term and long-term ambition;

6. Welcomes the fact that five years after the entry into force of the Paris Agreement, the largest global economies are engaging in a race towards climate neutrality; draws attention to the fact that net-zero commitments need to be backed up by long-term strategies submitted to the UNFCCC; stresses the need to translate those commitments into effective measures and policies at all levels and across all sectors;

7. Highlights the importance of phasing out all fossil fuels as soon as possible; acknowledges the conclusions of the International Energy Agency’s report entitled ‘Net Zero by 2050’, which shows a sharp decline in fossil fuel demand, thereby negating the need for investment in new fossil fuel supply, and that achieving the 1.5 °C target requires that no new oil and gas fields be approved for development and that no coal mines are built new or extended from 2021; supports the G7’s commitment to end the financing of unabated coal by the end of 2021; calls on the G7 countries to lead by example on the energy transition and to halt all new investments in fossil fuel extraction; supports the Presidency of COP26, the United Kingdom, and the Powering Past Coal Alliance in seeking an agreement to halt the construction of any new unabated coal-fired power plants; recognises that fossil fuels have no long-term role in the EU’s energy mix and calls on the Member States, in cooperation with the Commission, to adopt national plans in order to phase out all fossil fuels as soon as possible in order to reach climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest;

8. Expresses grave concerns about the growing global interest in the fossil fuel reserves in the Arctic, which are getting more accessible as the sea ice cover recedes due to climate change; emphasises the vulnerability of nature in the Arctic and the extreme difficulty of cleaning up the ecosystem following oil spills from blowouts, pipeline leaks or shipping accidents; urges the EU and its Member States to call for a global moratorium against offshore oil exploration in the Arctic;

9. Stresses the need to rebuild international coalitions for a high-ambition, high-environmental integrity outcome at COP26; calls on the Commission and the Member States to work closely with major emitters, climate-vulnerable countries, transatlantic partners and the UK Presidency of COP26 to deliver political proposals at the conference on how countries should accelerate action to close the ambition gap in order to keep global warming below 1.5 °C; encourages the EU to step up its diplomatic outreach and alliance building with the developing and most vulnerable countries in order to act as a bridge-builder between developed and developing countries, which has historically been critical for achieving the most ambitious outcomes at COPs;

10. Welcomes the fact that President Biden took action to return the United States to the Paris Agreement on his first day in office and his commitment to cut US GHG emissions in half by 2030 compared to 2005 levels and to aim for net-zero emissions by 2050; expects concrete policy measures and financial flows to follow in a timely manner in order to meet the US’s commitments; stresses the importance of the EU-US partnership and leadership for the achievement of the goals of the Paris Agreement; highlights that tackling climate change, environmental degradation and the loss of biodiversity, promoting green growth and protecting our oceans are at the core of the new Joint Transatlantic Agenda, and that the EU and the US have jointly committed to making every effort to keep a 1.5 °C limit on the global temperature rise within reach; recognises President Biden’s efforts to ramp up global ambition on climate action, including by holding the Leaders’ Climate Summit in April 2021;

11. Highlights China’s role as the world’s second largest economy and the country with the highest total GHG emissions; acknowledges China’s willingness to serve as a constructive force in global climate negotiations; notes with particular concern, however, its continued high level of dependence on coal, and encourages its government to push further to accelerate the green transition as a key prerequisite to achieving the global goals of the Paris Agreement; takes note of the announcement of President Xi Jinping in September 2020 that China would achieve a peak in CO2 emissions before 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060; underlines that those commitments should cover all GHG emissions; expects further commitments as well as concrete policy measures and aligned financial flows in order to meet them;

12. Emphasises that according to the IPBES, the underlying causes of pandemics are the same global environmental changes that drive biodiversity loss and climate change, including land use change, agricultural expansion and intensification, and wildlife trade and consumption, as well as other drivers; stresses that the pandemic has demonstrated the importance of the ‘one health’ and ‘health in all policies’ principles in policy-making and that transformative changes are needed; Recalls that the preamble to the Paris Agreement acknowledges the ‘right to health’ as a key right; underlines that Article 4(1)(f) of the UNFCCC states that all Parties thereto should employ ‘appropriate methods, for example impact assessments, formulated and determined nationally, with a view to minimising adverse effects on the economy, on public health and on the quality of the environment, of projects or measures undertaken by them to mitigate or adapt to climate change’; considers that health should be included in national adaptation plans and national communications to the UNFCCC;

13. Highlights that achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement and its climate neutrality goals requires massive investment and an unprecedented transformation of all sectors of our economies; believes that this transformation towards a new sustainable economic model can only be achieved if it guarantees a just transition, which combines social and ecological progress, improves the well-being of people and leaves no one behind;

COP26 in Glasgow

14. Regrets the lack of progress at the COP25 in Madrid in 2019 and the lack of commitments and transparency of some Parties; regrets that the finalisation of the Paris Agreement Rulebook was postponed to a subsequent COP, and that the outcome of the discussions on loss and damage could have been more ambitious; recognises, despite the organisational difficulties, the progress made on important aspects, such as the promotion of the social dimension in the climate agenda, and the mass mobilisation of non-state actors;

15. Stresses that it is vital that the COP26 forges a new consensus on the necessary climate action and ambition to achieve global climate neutrality by mid-century and on robust short- and medium-term policy measures;

16. Calls on all Parties to the UNFCCC, in cooperation with regions and non-state actors, in particular civil society, to contribute constructively to the process leading up to COP26, during which the NDCs need to be enhanced to ensure that they are compatible with the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement and best available scientific knowledge, and that they reflect the Parties’ highest possible level of ambition; stresses that, as current pledges are not sufficient to reach the goals of the Agreement and global GHG emissions must urgently peak and then drastically decrease, all Parties should step up their efforts and update their NDCs, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and calls especially on the EU and all G20 nations to show global leadership in this regard, and to also commit to reaching climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest;

17. Highlights that, according to the UNEP emissions gap report 2020, emissions of the richest 1 % of the global population account for more than twice the combined share of the poorest 50 %; notes that further research[16] suggests that, within the EU, the richest 10 % of EU citizens were responsible for almost a third of EU cumulative consumption emissions between 1990 and 2015, and that over the same period the total annual consumption emissions of the poorest 50 % of EU citizens fell by 24 % while those of the richest 10 % grew by 3 %; stresses the need to fully address equity in the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and for the Union to finally curb and drastically reduce emissions from the richest part of our society, while providing support to the poorest households to ensure a just transition;

18. Calls on the Commission to engage with other major CO2 emitters to create an international climate club of countries leading the way to climate neutrality, with common goals on the reduction of GHG emissions, the achievement of climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest, the establishment of a definition of uniform standards for the measurement of emissions, of comparable explicit and implicit CO2 prices in energy and industrial sectors, and on the protection of countries that are willing to implement climate protection measures from the disadvantages of international competition by means of a common carbon border adjustment mechanism;

19. Highlights the need to pursue strengthened and coordinated sectoral decarbonisation measures through the alignment of goals and collaboration between Parties and other actors; calls on the Parties to strengthen the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action as a space to encourage non-state actors and subnational governments to take immediate climate action driven by science and highly ambitious goals and to foster joint learning across constituencies, geographies and sectors in order to accelerate action and supportive policy-making on the Paris Agreement goals;

20. Highlights the need for COP26 to resolve the outstanding points in the Paris Agreement work programme in order to focus the coming five years on the further development and strengthening of its implementation and operationalisation; urges all Parties to conclude outstanding issues for the finalisation of the Paris Agreement Rulebook, in particular on transparency, common timeframes and cooperative mechanisms under Article 6, with a view to ensuring transparency and strong environmental integrity and delivering the highest level of ambition;

21. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to advocate for strict and robust international rules relative to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, building on the San José Principles; highlights in particular the need to encourage international cooperation while avoiding all forms of double counting in order to ensure environmental integrity with real, additional, measurable, permanent and independently verified emissions reductions, to ensure that no units issued under the Kyoto Protocol can count towards current and future NDCs, and to guarantee the protection of human rights; reiterates its support for using a share of proceeds from Article 6 mechanisms for the funding of the Adaptation Fund; reiterates its support for the introduction of a five-year time frame and calls for the EU to adopt a position in support of an agreement on a five-year common time frame in order to accelerate the pace of climate action;

22. Calls for the operationalisation of the enhanced transparency framework, which enshrines principles of transparency, accuracy, consistency, comparability and completeness;

23. Emphasises that people are impacted by climate change in different ways by factors such as gender, age, disability, ethnicity and poverty and that current inequalities based on a person’s gender can increase that person’s vulnerability to the unavoidable impacts of climate change, including natural hazards; welcomes, therefore, the adoption of the enhanced Lima Work Programme on Gender and Gender Action Plan at COP25 in Madrid and calls for their quick implementation; believes that the transformation towards a sustainable society has to be done in an inclusive, fair and equal manner, and that the gender balance and the empowerment of women and girls are key to that transformation; emphasises the need for more effective gender mainstreaming throughout all relevant targets and goals; reiterates its call on the Commission to design a concrete action plan to deliver on the commitments of the renewed Gender Action Plan and to create a permanent EU gender and climate change focal point, with sufficient budgetary resources, in order to implement and monitor gender-responsible climate action in the EU and globally[17]; believes this could set an example for other Parties to adopt similar measures;

24. Welcomes the fact that Parties are increasingly taking account of gender in their NDCs, and calls on all Parties to adopt gender-responsive and socially just NDCs and climate financing in order to deliver climate justice; calls on the Commission and Member States to increase the coherence between support for gender and climate through external action instruments and through the European Investment Bank (EIB), including through enhancing participation of women and women’s organisations in governance and decision-making, their access to finance and to programmes which support the role of women in climate governance, and particular sectors such as agriculture and forestry, with a specific focus on indigenous women;

25. Is concerned about the potential impact of travel and other restrictions related to COVID-19 on fair and balanced attendance at COP26; calls on the UK COP26 Presidency to take all the measures necessary to ensure broad and inclusive attendance, with full respect for the sanitary measures; considers that every effort should be made to ensure that all developing countries, in particular least developed countries and small island developing states, are able to participate in COP26, and calls on the UK Presidency to overcome barriers to participation associated with the pandemic;

26. Recalls the importance of the involvement of all countries in the UNFCCC decision-making processes; stresses that the current decision-making process in the UNFCCC needs to be improved in order to better involve poor and vulnerable country delegates; reiterates its call on the EU delegation to the COPs to enhance engagement with vulnerable countries’ delegates;

27. Believes that the EU has a historic responsibility to be the most ambitious signatory of the Paris Agreement, both through its own commitments and through its assistance to others, and should acknowledge and act on its climate and environmental responsibilities by setting a credible example; recalls the principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities’ which grants the Union and the Member States a particular responsibility as well as capacity to act;

An ambitious EU climate policy and the long-term vision

28. Highlights the adoption of the European Climate Law; expects the European Green Deal and in particular the Fit for 2030 legislative package to deliver the necessary measures for the EU and its Member States to be fully in line with the Paris Agreement; deems it of the utmost importance for the EU to lead by example and send a clear message at COP26 that it stands ready to enhance its NDCs and contribution to the Paris Agreement, and calls for the same level of commitment from the other Parties;

29. Highlights that part of the EU belongs to the regions of the world most affected by climate change; notes that the Mediterranean basin warms 20 % faster than the global average, and that the region is one of the main climate change hotspots in the world, where 250 million people are projected to be considered ‘water poor’ within 20 years[18]; underlines that the Mediterranean is becoming the fastest warming sea in the world[19] with consequences for important economic sectors and the whole sea ecosystem, leading to irreversible changes to the ecosystem and species; calls on the EU to act with urgency and cooperate with its Mediterranean partners to work on ambitious adaptation measures and to lead the mitigation action;

30. Stresses that the success of the European Green Deal is dependent on effectively globalising its relevant standards and norms in partnership with third countries; recalls the Council conclusions of January 2021 and the Commission’s objective of strengthening the Union’s role as global actor; calls for an operational and coherent European Green Deal diplomacy strategy to be developed ahead of the African COP27;

31. Underlines the importance of actually reducing the EU’s environmental footprint so as to reach our global climate commitments; notes however that no formal EU indicator exists to measure our current environmental footprint, and calls on the Commission and the European Environment Agency to adopt such an indicator;

32. Reiterates its call on the Commission, following the adoption of the European Climate Law and in the light of the important role of natural carbon sinks in achieving climate neutrality, to propose an ambitious science-based EU 2030 target for the removal of GHG emissions by natural carbon sinks, which should be consistent with the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and enshrined in legislation; recalls, furthermore, that a swift reduction of emissions must remain the priority;

33. Stresses the need to mainstream climate ambition into all EU policies; urges the Commission to update the way it conducts impact assessments across all EU policy areas to ensure the full implementation of Article 6(4) of the European Climate Law; considers the new initiatives in the Commission’s recent communication entitled ‘Better regulation: Joining forces to make better laws’[20], in particular the inclusion of a ‘do no significant harm’ analysis in impact assessments, a first step in this regard;

34. Highlights the central role of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the transition towards a climate-neutral economy; recognises the progress achieved in the build-out of renewable energy sources; takes note of the Commission proposal revising the Renewable Energy Directive under the Fit for 55 package, and underlines the importance of increasing renewable energy and energy efficiency targets to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest and to comply with the Paris Agreement, seizing the opportunity of the current decrease in costs of renewable energy and storage technologies;

35. Takes note of the Commission proposal for a revision of the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) framework under the Fit for 55 package and underlines the importance of increasing natural sinks, encouraging ecosystem-based solutions while taking into account the value of different ecosystems for biodiversity as well as the amount of carbon that continues to be removed and stored, in order to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest;

36. Deems that climate and related energy policies should reflect the latest science on ecosystems and different carbon pools, and their true value for climate change mitigation and adaptation; is of the opinion that nature-based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches and the restoration and conservation of ecosystems and biological diversity are vital enablers of climate change mitigation and adaptation; calls for more data on areas within and outside carbon- and species-rich ecosystems and on the quality of conservation management, protection and restauration measures in order to inform decision-making on restoration priorities, as well as on measures and policies to combat climate change and biodiversity loss;

37. Emphasises that all climate policies should be pursued in line with the principle of a just transition and the polluter pays principle by phasing out any environmentally harmful subsidies, and in close cooperation with all stakeholders including civil society, social partners and the private sector leaving no one behind; considers, therefore, that more transparency, stronger social partnerships and civil society engagement at local, regional national and EU level are fundamental to achieving climate neutrality across all sectors of society in a fair, inclusive and socially sustainable manner; recalls that Article 10 of the European Climate Law provides tools for setting up voluntary indicative sectoral decarbonisation roadmaps for the most emitting sectors within the EU, and urges the Commission to engage with these sectors in order to facilitate these roadmaps;

38. Stresses that measures taken to mitigate or adapt to climate change must not lead to the exacerbation of other current environmental problems or the creation of new ones in the EU or third countries; draws attention, in this respect, to the environmental risks associated with the growing demand for certain critical raw materials necessary for the transition to a low-carbon economy or for climate engineering, and calls on the Commission to take these risks into account in its actions and to seek to minimise them in accordance with the precautionary principle;

39. Believes that ambitious implementation of the NextGenerationEU recovery package in the form of sustainable policies offers several advantages that spur growth during economic downturns, such as the creation of new jobs, deliver higher short-run fiscal multipliers and lead to higher long-run cost savings, and is an opportunity to show other nations the benefits to their economies; encourages the Commission, the Council and the Member States to maximise this package’s potential for supporting the green transition;

40. Highlights that sustainable economic growth and the development of new green technologies should be supported, as they can act as significant drivers of climate change mitigation;

Adaptation to climate change, loss and damage

41. Reiterates that adaptation action is an unavoidable necessity for all countries if they are to minimise the negative effects of climate change and achieve climate resilience and sustainable development, noting the particular vulnerabilities to climate change impacts of developing countries, especially the least developed countries and small island developing states; calls on the EU and the Member States to step up adaptation action and to engage local authorities in order to fully honour the commitments under the Paris Agreement and ensure that EU adaptation policies match EU global leadership in climate change mitigation; welcomes, in this regard, the new EU Adaptation Strategy, the linkages with the EU Biodiversity Strategy and the new regulatory framework on adaptation stemming from the European Climate Law, and calls for their ambitious implementation, including of their international components;

42. Stresses that the EU Adaptation Strategy adopted by the Commission on 24 February 2021 expresses the Commission’s aim of scaling up resources and further mobilising larger-scale adaptation finance, and that particular attention is needed to ensure that financial resources reach the most vulnerable communities in developing countries;

43. Welcomes the new regulatory framework for adaptation to climate change under Article4 of the European Climate Law; stresses that additional regulatory measures with clear targets and milestones are necessary to enhance adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and minimise vulnerability to climate change;

44. Underlines that while climate change is a global problem, each region will be affected differently and that local level governance bodies, being closer to populations, are therefore frequently the most appropriate entities for developing adaptation strategies to address the problem;

45. Emphasises that green infrastructure contributes to adaptation to climate change through the protection of natural capital, the conservation of natural habitats and species, good ecological status, water management and food security;

46. Highlights the devastating environmental, social and economic impacts of desertification and the need for common approaches to properly prevent and adapt to this phenomenon and address this issue; underlines, therefore, the importance of water availability for climate change mitigation and adaptation, since in addition to allowing the growth of plants that capture and retain carbon, water in the soil enhances the life of microorganisms, increasing the content of organic matter in the soil and, inherently, leads to greater carbon retention capacity in the soil; stresses the need to pay close attention to water management in the context of adaptation; stresses the need for speedy and full implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive[21] in order to achieve its objectives and better manage this resource;

47. Emphasises that recognising the true value of water and its role in climate change mitigation and adaptation is central to addressing climate impacts on water quality and achieving climate neutrality; recognises that diversification of water sources, water efficiency, circular water management, nature-based solutions, digital solutions for monitoring, surveillance and analysis of water, as well as access to drinking water and sanitation contribute to reducing pollution and CO2 emissions;

48. Highlights that the preamble to the Paris Agreement recognises the fundamental priority of safeguarding food security and ending hunger, and in particular the vulnerabilities of food production systems to the adverse impacts of climate change; recalls that Article 2(1)(b) of the UNFCCC states that increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low GHG emissions development should be done in a manner that does not threaten food production; calls on all Parties to duly consider food security in their national adaptation plans;

49. Stresses the importance of a multi-hazard, systems-level approach to assessing climate risks and adaptation needs and actions, the need for improving metrics for measuring risk-informed adaptation and enhancing technical and financial support to countries in order to develop bankable projects to access more adaptation funding;

50. Supports the review of the Global Goal on Adaptation and highlights the need to translate it into measurable outcomes based on a thorough understanding of risk at multiple levels, availability of consistent and comparable data, and the use of quantitative and qualitative progress on resilience over time;

51. Calls on COP26 to fully operationalise the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage initiated at COP25 in order for it to effectively catalyse technical assistance for developing countries to avert, minimise and address loss and damage and to deliver functions that are based on the most prevalent challenges and gaps that developing countries face, including a lack of capacity, and a lack of finance and support; believes that the functioning of the Santiago Network should be embedded in UNFCCC structures and predictably and reliably financed by developed countries, drawing on inputs from UNFCCC Parties and observers;

52. Notes that Article 8 of the Paris Agreement on Loss and Damage states that the Parties should take a cooperative approach to loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change; highlights, therefore, the importance of supportive global action in areas especially vulnerable to climate change impacts such as coastal areas and islands, and where adaptive capacity is limited;

53. Stresses that climate change and environmental degradation increasingly interact with the drivers of human displacement; expresses its support for the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM Excom) Task Force on Displacement, and calls on it to step up its activities and to ensure that it is more inclusive of least developed countries and small island developing states; calls for a greater focus on climate-induced displacement in future COPs;

Nature-based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches to climate change

54. Recalls that climate change is one of the main direct drivers of biodiversity loss and land degradation, and that biodiversity loss and climate change are interlinked and exacerbate each other, representing equal threats to the planet; underlines that the negative effects of climate change on nature and biodiversity, on ecosystems, and on water availability, oceans and food security are projected to become critical in the decades to come; reiterates that the strict conservation and the restoration of high-carbon ecosystems, such as peatlands, wetlands, rangelands, and of blue carbon ecosystems, such as salt marshes, seagrasses and mangroves, and intact forests is a response option with an immediate impact, and that it offers a wide range of mitigation and adaptation benefits; whereas when degraded or destroyed, blue carbon ecosystems emit the carbon they have stored for centuries into the atmosphere and the ocean, which then becomes a source of GHG emissions; highlights that some measures that could mitigate the climate crisis could be detrimental to biodiversity, and underlines the need for the climate crisis and the biodiversity loss crisis to be tackled together; proposes therefore a properly funded joint CBD-UNFCCC work programme to identify and encourage synergistic action;

55. Stresses that despite growing consensus at the UNFCCC and the CBD on the need for integrated action at country and local levels to tackle both the biodiversity and the climate crises together, nature-based solutions are still absent in many national climate pledges and country strategies; considers that a multi-stakeholder platform on nature-based solutions could help strengthen synergies across multilateral international conventions on biodiversity and climate change, and enable the achievement of the UN SDGs;

56. Stresses the need for synergies between the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and climate action for both mitigation and adaptation;

57. Recalls also the crucial role played by biodiversity in enabling humans to combat and adapt to global warming and increase their level of resilience; stresses that ecosystem-based approaches, as established under the CBD, and nature-based solutions take advantage of the potential of nature and biodiversity to reduce GHG emissions and to help us adapt to the impacts of climate change, that they are win-win solutions that involve protecting, restoring and sustainably managing and enhancing ecosystem services and functions which address society’s challenges and promote human well-being; underlines that nature-based solutions can be most effective when planned for longevity and not only narrowly focused on rapid carbon sequestration[22];

58. Welcomes the COP26 Presidency’s initiative to launch the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade Dialogue, which will bring together key countries exporting agricultural products and the countries consuming these products to discuss how to make this process more sustainable; recalls its positions detailed in its resolution on an EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation[23], which should be incorporated into the EU contribution; calls on the Commission to urgently present a proposal for an EU legal framework based on mandatory due diligence that ensures that value chains are sustainable and that products or commodities placed on the EU market do not result in or derive from deforestation, forest degradation, ecosystem conversion or degradation or human rights violations; notes that such an EU legal framework should also be extended to cover high-carbon stock and biodiversity-rich ecosystems other than forests, such as marine and coastal ecosystems, wetlands, peatlands and savannahs, so as to avoid pressure being shifted to these ecosystems;

59. Draws attention to the fact that potential permafrost emissions are not fully taken into account in global emissions budgets, and that they are not included in NDCs; stresses the need for an accelerated scientific effort to more accurately estimate and communicate the likely magnitude of increased CO2 and methane emissions from a warming Arctic in order to better inform decisions about the increased ambition that is needed to keep the global temperature within the Paris Agreement objectives; calls on the EU to initiate and lead a global coalition on permafrost, aimed at funding research to better assess the current status of the problem and at funding measures to urgently contain permafrost thaw;

60. Highlights the need for comprehensive mapping of carbon- and nature-rich areas, the effects and the quality of how they are managed, habitat condition and other factors in order to inform decision-making on restoration priorities;

61. Calls on the Commission and Member States to ensure that Union market and consumption patterns do not detrimentally affect forests and natural ecosystems and biodiversity, nor the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities;

62. Acknowledges the importance of the Biodiversity Conference in Kunming, China, of October 2021 and April-May 2022; highlights that a stronger, binding and more ambitious international framework is needed in order to protect global biodiversity, which is of irreplaceable value, to arrest its current decline and to restore it as much as possible; believes that such a framework should be based on targets, quantifiable indicators, effective monitoring mechanisms and firm commitments, comprising NDCs and other appropriate instruments, financial commitments and improved capacity-building assurances, as well as a five-yearly review mechanism, with an emphasis on a high level and upward trajectory of ambition; reiterates its call for the EU to push for the same high level of ambition during the negotiations in order to ensure a global level playing field, including legally binding international global restoration and protection targets of at least 30 % by 2030 in order to reflect the EUs domestic ambitions set in the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030;

63. Stresses in this context that the 2018 Review of SDGs Implementation[24] concluded that the monitoring framework for SDG 15 does not include essential points related to quality that are crucial for more meaningful results, pointing to the need for additional indicators in areas such as forest intactness, management effectiveness in protected areas, and meaningful integration of biodiversity into other processes;

64. Stresses that climate mechanisms depend on the health of the ocean and marine ecosystems currently affected by global warming, pollution, overexploitation of marine biodiversity, acidification, deoxygenation and coastal erosion; stresses that the IPCC recalls that the ocean is part of the solution to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change;

65. Stresses that the post-2020 global biodiversity framework should commit Parties to incorporate nature-based solutions that protect and restore biodiversity and ecosystem integrity into both national biodiversity strategies and action plans and NDCs to meet the Paris Agreement;

66. Acknowledges the important role of healthy soil, as the largest terrestrial carbon sink, in mitigating climate change; reiterates its call on the Member States to strengthen the restoration and sustainable use of soil as a tool for climate policy in their national energy and climate plans (NECPs) and in particular in the measures applying to the agricultural and land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) sectors, and to preserve, restore and enhance carbon sinks (especially in areas with carbon-rich soils, such as grasslands and peatlands), in addition to taking action seeking to promote the sustainable use of soil in agricultural policy and to reduce agricultural emissions; reiterates its calls on the Commission for a legislative proposal to establish an EU-wide common legal framework for soil protection and sustainable use of soil, addressing all major soil threats;

Sustainable climate finance

67. Highlights that the EU and its Member States are the largest provider of public climate finance; recognises the importance of climate finance for climate actions, as many developing countries have conditional NDCs, the achievement of which depends on financial support; welcomes therefore the decision taken at COP24 to decide on a more ambitious target from 2025 onwards, beyond the current commitment to mobilise USD 100 billion per year as of 2020, but expresses concern that the actual pledges by developed countries are still falling a long way short of the collective goal of USD 100 billion per year, and calls for this gap to be filled; urges the EU and its Member States to step up their efforts to mobilise international climate finance for developing countries and build an international roadmap outlining each developed country’s fair share of the USD 100 billion financial pledge and mechanisms to ensure that pledges are turned into deeds; expects emerging economies to make a contribution, from 2025 onwards, to the higher amount of international climate financing in the future; in that context, supports the initiation of negotiations on a new financial goal for the period after 2025, exploring an approach for a goal matrix with separate sub-goals, including for grants-based finance, reflecting the growing severity of climate impacts and the urgency of fully accelerating climate action in this decade;

68. Emphasises that financial flows are crucial for adaptation to climate change; stresses the importance of operationalising the global goal on adaptation and of mobilising major new funds for adaptation in developing countries; calls for the EU and its Member States to commit to a significant additional increase in the adaptation finance they provide so as to achieve a balance between adaptation and mitigation finance, prioritising grants-based finance, and to prepare appropriate pledges to be made at COP26;

69. Affirms that carbon border adjustment mechanism revenues could be used to scale up the provision of climate finance to developing countries, in particular for adaptation, but also to reduce the carbon intensity of their exports as well as their domestically sold products;

70. Recognises the need for progress on the issue of loss and damage, for which additional and adequate resources should be raised through innovative sources of public finance under the Warsaw International Mechanism and for which the EU should support a COP26 mandate for the Warsaw International Mechanism’s new Action and Support Expert Group (ASEG) to explore and pursue such sources;

71. Points to the fact that the COVID-19 crisis has once again showed that we rely on each other to address global challenges and it should be seen as a wake-up call for more ambitious and collective action; stresses the need to build resilience by learning all the lessons from the current crisis in terms of insufficient emergency planning and emergency response capacities; warns that the COVID-19 crisis is reversing progress towards the SDGs, is increasing extreme poverty in developing countries and has exacerbated debt levels; underlines that significantly scaling up climate finance and urgently finding viable solutions regarding debt relief for third countries within international forums is necessary to facilitate a global green recovery;

72. Considers it essential that the major international financial institutions swiftly adopt and develop green finance in order to bring about a successful decarbonisation of the global economy; recalls the role of the EIB as the EU’s climate bank and its recently adopted Climate Bank Roadmap and updated Energy Lending Policy; urges multilateral development banks, including the EIB, and development finance institutions to finance more climate investments, to align their portfolios with the Paris Agreement and to support developing countries in recovering from COVID-19 in a green, inclusive and resilient way; points to the need to create platforms and tools to promote and share best practices for sustainable recovery and to promote practical collaboration in decoupling GHG emissions from economic growth while increasing prosperity; calls for a global agreement on sustainable finance principles, including the International Financial Reporting Standards sustainability accounting standards, to be developed and supported;

73. Welcomes the fact that the Adaptation Fund will continue to serve the Paris Agreement; recognises the importance of this fund for those communities most vulnerable to climate change, and notes that since 2010 the fund has committed more than USD 830 million for climate change adaptation and resilience projects and programmes, including more than 120 concrete, localised projects in the most vulnerable communities of developing countries around the world; stresses, however, that this amount is not sufficient and calls on donor countries to significantly step up their contributions to the Adaptation Fund with a more predictable and multi-year approach;

74. Reiterates the need to urgently end fossil fuel subsidies and other environmentally harmful subsidies in the EU and worldwide; notes that fossil fuel subsidies in the EU amount to some EUR 50 billion, and calls on all Member States to implement concrete policies, timelines and measures to phase out all direct and indirect fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 at the very latest; calls on all other Parties to take similar measures;

75. Supports the work of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action and encourages all governments to adopt the coalition’s commitments to align all policies and practices in the remit of finance ministries with the goals of the Paris Agreement and to adopt effective carbon pricing, as laid down in the Helsinki Principles;

76. Stresses the important role that the private sector, including corporations and financial markets, must play in setting the economy on a path that is compatible with the Paris Agreement; welcomes the initiative of the COP26 Private Finance Hub focusing on building a system that mobilises private finance to support the re-engineering of our economies for net zero; acknowledges the wide public interest and engagement in sustainable investments; welcomes the increasing engagement of major international financial institutions in the development of green finance and considers it essential to foster this trend in order to bring about a successful decarbonisation of the global economy; welcomes the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero and its commitment to mobilise the necessary global investments for net-zero emissions no later than 2050, based on science-based criteria;

77. Highlights the fact that the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has failed to generate real additional emissions reductions; invites the Parties to consider an immediate termination of the CDM; stresses that continuing the CDM would undermine the Paris Agreement and the collective efforts to reduce GHG emissions;

78. Stresses that old credits generated in the past must not be used under the Paris Agreement; stresses that old credits must not be used to meet post-2020 climate targets;

79. Underlines the need to further develop and promote climate- and sustainability-related financial disclosures by financial institutions and companies;

Comprehensive effort by all sectors

80. Highlights the fact that the transport sector is the only sector in which emissions at EU level have risen since 1990 and that this is not compatible with a long-term climate neutrality objective, which requires bigger and faster reductions in emissions from all sectors of society, including the aviation and maritime sectors; considers that in order to ensure the consistency of NDCs with the economy-wide commitments required by the Paris Agreement, the Parties should be encouraged to include emissions from international shipping and aviation in their NDCs and to agree on and implement measures, at international, regional and national level, to reduce emissions from these sectors, including non-CO2 impacts from aviation; reiterates in this context the need to regulate these sectors under the EU emissions trading system (ETS), which could also serve as a role model for the parallel work, supporting the higher global ambition at international level, including in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); is concerned by the slow progress achieved in the IMO and the ICAO in addressing emissions from international shipping and aviation; points out that aviation accounts for approximately 2.1 % of global CO2 emissions; calls on the Commission and the Member States to do their utmost to strengthen the carbon offsetting and reduction scheme for international aviation (CORSIA) and to support the adoption by the ICAO of a long-term goal to reduce in-sector emissions while safeguarding the EU’s legislative autonomy in implementing the ETS Directive;

81. Recalls that, according to the International Energy Agency, in order to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 all new passenger cars put on the market globally would need to be zero-emission by 2035; further stresses that in order for Europe to be climate neutral by 2050, virtually all cars on Europe’s roads must be zero-emission by then; stresses that the transport sector can be a significant facilitator of renewable energy deployment; stresses the role that electric mobility can play as a form of smart integration of the power and transport sectors by unlocking flexibility capacities, underlining the importance of deploying smart charging throughout the EU;

82. Notes that black carbon emissions from shipping rose globally by 12 % between 2012 and 2018, and by 85 % in the Arctic between 2015 and 2019; stresses that black carbon is estimated to account for about 21 % of shipping emissions over a 20-year timescale; considering the urgency of tackling climate change, and in particular the alarming rate at which the Arctic is melting; calls for immediate action to reverse the current increase in black carbon emissions from Arctic shipping; strongly deplores the fact that the IMO adopted ban on the use of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic contains too many loopholes and has been rendered ineffective in protecting the Arctic; urges the Commission to ensure that all ships calling at EU ports and travelling in or near the Arctic switch to cleaner distillates and install particulate filters, which would reduce black carbon emissions by over 90 %;

83. Points to the fact that in 2012, shipping accounted for about 2.5 % of global GHG emissions[25]; is concerned that shipping is exempt both from international (UNFCCC) and EU climate targets, and draws attention to the fact that these emissions are projected to increase by up to 50 % between 2018 and 2050 if left unchecked[26]; welcomes the fact that in 2018 the IMO adopted an initial strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships, according to which emissions should peak as soon as possible and fall by at least 50 % by 2050 compared with 2008, while pursuing efforts towards phasing them out entirely, but is concerned by the slow progress made so far and urges the IMO to move forward rapidly in adopting ambitious measures in the short and medium term;

84. Recalls that cities play a key role in reducing GHG emissions; stresses that cities must show leadership locally and globally in the green transition; calls for the Commission to consider concrete measures to support a reduction in the CO2 emissions of cities, to be carried out in collaboration with industry, citizens and local authorities; highlights the fact that cities can serve as a cradle for new technologies in electrification, automation and digitalisation by supporting innovation and first-mover action;

85. Stresses the need to integrate efforts in order to progress on both climate change and air quality; considers that a holistic approach is needed to reduce emissions at source in all sectors, particularly road and maritime transport, aviation, industrial installations, buildings, agriculture and energy production, in order to better protect the health of our citizens and our planet;

86. Recalls that 23 % of global GHG emissions and approximately 10 % of EU GHG emissions originate from agriculture, and acknowledges the significant potential for GHG emissions reduction in the agricultural sector, as well as for a positive contribution to the fight against climate change by increasing carbon sequestration; stresses that a transition towards regenerative agriculture, shorter supply chains and healthier, more balanced and sustainable diets, including through increased consumption of sustainably produced plants and plant-based foods, would contribute significantly to reducing agricultural emissions while releasing pressure on land and helping restore ecosystems;

87. Notes that agroecology’s great climate, biodiversity and food security advantages have been recognised by IPCC and IPBES reports, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and the FAO-led International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development; reiterates that agroecology and family farming should be placed at the heart of climate action;

88. Notes that approximately 60 % of the world’s methane is emitted by sources such as agriculture, landfill sites, waste water facilities, and the production and pipeline transport of fossil fuels; recalls that methane is a potent GHG, more than 80 times more potent than CO2 over a 20-year period, and is the second greatest contributor to climate change, after carbon dioxide; highlights therefore the importance of immediate and rapid reductions in methane emissions this decade as one of the most effective measures of EU climate action; notes that many cost-effective technologies and practices are already available to mitigate methane emissions, especially from the energy sector; highlights the fact that methane emission reductions complement the necessary reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and that 15 % of the required emissions cuts by the Paris Agreement could already be achieved with low-cost and technically feasible methane mitigation; welcomes in this context the new EU strategy to reduce methane emissions, presented by the Commission in October 2020, and calls on all Parties to take swift and ambitious action to significantly reduce methane emissions; calls on the Commission to propose a fair, comprehensive and clear legislative framework setting binding measures and methane reduction targets leading to a significant reduction in methane emissions in the EU by 2030; calls on the Commission and the Member States to lead international cooperation and coordination on methane emissions mitigation and to spearhead a global agreement on methane mitigation at COP26 that defines new ambitions on global methane mitigation in line with the IPCC 1.5 °C report, the UNEP global methane assessment report and the sixth IPCC assessment report;

89. Recalls that, as indicated in the impact assessment of the 2030 climate target plan[27], the target of at least a 55 % reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 requires tackling methane emissions, in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement;

90. Supports the Commission’s endeavours to advocate the creation of a legally binding framework at international level for methane emission reduction under the UN;

91. Welcomes the announced intention of the US Biden Administration and President Xi Jinping of China to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which, together with the upcoming review of the EU rules on fluorinated greenhouse gases, represents a unique opportunity to bring the world closer to meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement; calls on the Commission to present an ambitious revision of the F-Gas Regulation by the end of 2021 in order to accelerate the phasing out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC);

92. Encourages the EU to take a leading role in promoting carbon pricing as an efficient climate policy tool as part of a broader regulatory framework, to explore links and other forms of cooperation with existing carbon pricing mechanisms in third countries and regions, to accelerate cost-efficient emissions reductions worldwide and to reduce at the same time the risk of carbon leakage, which should contribute to ensuring a global level playing field; calls on the Commission to establish safeguards to ensure that any links with the EU ETS will continue to deliver additional and permanent mitigation contributions and will not undermine the EU’s domestic GHG emissions commitments; underlines that the establishment of a World Trade Organization-compatible EU carbon border adjustment mechanism is a crucial part of the Green Deal and should be a key priority; stresses that the carbon border adjustment mechanism should be used as a blueprint for stronger climate action within the EU and globally, while ensuring fair competition between EU domestic and foreign producers;

93. Stresses the importance of a strong commitment against deforestation; notes that, although in the EU forest area has been expanding in recent years, in other regions, particularly in emerging economies dependent on commodities, massive deforestation, mainly due to the agriculture and livestock sectors, is a problem in need of an adequate solution;

Industry and competitiveness

94. Considers COP26 to be the most important one for the European industrial and energy sectors since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015, as the Union has enshrined a pathway to reach climate neutrality at the latest by 2050 and has launched the Fit for 55 package; believes that economic prosperity, social cohesion, job creation, sustainable industrial development and climate policy should be mutually reinforcing; highlights the fact that combating climate change provides opportunities for EU industry that can be materialised if legislators commit to timely, tailor-made, solidarity-based and adequate policy response; stresses the need for an overarching strategy to achieve the objectives set for 2030 and beyond aligning public and private financial flows; deems it of the utmost importance for the EU to ensure a first-mover advantage and to lead by example;

95. Stresses that the EU should do its utmost to keep its industries’ leading position and global competitiveness in the transition towards a net-zero GHG emissions economy; points out that available and innovative policy tools should be employed to maintain and expand the areas of EU leadership; underlines the need to decarbonise European industry further and to continue EU support for this endeavour; welcomes the initiatives undertaken for strategic value chains; recognises the positive effects for European industries from early action in fighting climate change, as well as from the EU setting an example in achieving climate neutrality, which paves the way for less advanced or less ambitious countries and safeguards a highly beneficial competitive advantage for EU industries and business; stresses the need to establish enforceable multilateral and bilateral agreements between the EU and its partners aimed at exporting the Union’s environmental standards and ensuring a level playing field in trade and investments; stresses the need to prevent the relocation of production and investments in European industry because of less ambitious climate measures outside the Union, and thus encourages international partners to align efforts to fight climate change; considers that the EU’s green taxonomy should create transparency and give clarity in order to enable governments and businesses to provide incentives for investments contributing to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement;

96. Recognises the essential role of SMEs, in particular micro enterprises and start-ups, in driving and delivering on employment and growth as well as in leading the way on the digital and green transitions; recalls that SMEs are an essential part of the European economic and social fabric and must be supported and incentivised in this transition by legislators, in particular by ensuring access to finance for sustainable technologies, services and processes, and simplifying administrative procedures; is concerned that many SMEs are still not aware of the opportunities of the green transition and therefore calls for this knowledge gap to be closed, with the support of the sustainability advisors and sustainability services of the Enterprise Europe Network;

97. Welcomes the commitment, efforts and progress made so far by European citizens, communities, municipalities, cities, regions, industries and institutions towards meeting the obligations of the Paris Agreement; notes, at the same time, the need to rapidly scale up actions in order to be fully in line with the Paris Agreement; encourages therefore all players involved, inside and outside the Union, to adjust their ambitions and behaviour to higher standards in order to tackle the climate challenges;

98. Highlights the opportunities that a solid growth strategy for post-COVID recovery offers not only to overcome the economic crisis but also to further develop a green and sustainable EU economy by achieving the digital and green transitions; notes with concern that overlooking the advantage of building up the momentum would be detrimental to EU industry, given the extent of industrial transformation necessary to achieve the 2030 objectives in a highly competitive and fast-developing environment;

99. Welcomes the fact that several EU trading partners have introduced carbon trading or other pricing mechanisms; welcomes a socially just EU carbon border adjustment mechanism in line with the proposals made in the European Parliament’s resolution on a WTO-compatible EU carbon border adjustment mechanism, which include establishing an effective carbon leakage mechanism, and its effect to push for a global carbon price; calls for the Parties to COP26 to agree on clear, fair and environmentally and socially sound rules on carbon markets that deliver concrete, measurable contributions to sustainable development;

Energy policy

100. Welcomes the revision of energy legislation under the Fit for 55 package to align it with the Union’s increased target of reducing emissions by at least 55 % by 2030 in order to reach climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest;

101. Recalls the Union’s commitment to the ‘energy efficiency first’ principle; underlines the importance of mainstreaming the principle in all relevant legislation and initiatives; points out the untapped potential of energy efficiency in sectors such as transport and buildings, including heating and cooling;

102. Recalls that in the Union EUR 50 billion were spent on fossil fuel subsidies in 2018, corresponding to around one third of all energy subsidies in the Union; believes that fossil fuel subsidies undermine the goals of the European Green Deal and the obligations of the Paris Agreement; stresses the urgent need to provide more consistent price signals across energy sectors and the Member States, and the fact that external costs are not internalised; calls on the Member States and the other Parties to COP26 to prioritise investments in green energy and infrastructure and to phase out direct and indirect fossil fuel subsidies;

103. Believes that for the EU to achieve climate neutrality its energy system should be integrated and based on a cascading priority starting from implementing the energy efficiency first principle, leading to energy savings, followed by the decarbonisation of end-uses through direct electrification, renewable-based fuels and, during a transitional phase, low-carbon fuels for applications that do not have another alternative, while maintaining energy accessibility, affordability and security of supply through the development of a circular, highly energy-efficient, integrated, interconnected, resilient and multi-modal energy system;

104. Recalls the importance of taking into account the diversity of national energy systems and challenges; highlights the need for a just transition and reiterates the promise outlined in the new Green Deal that no one should be left behind; is concerned by the fact that around 50 million households in the EU still live in energy poverty; highlights the importance of the social dimension of a higher climate ambition, whereby policies should be adopted to prevent and end energy poverty as soon as possible; stresses that energy policies should be pursued in line with the principle of a fair and just transition as well as in close cooperation with civil society and social partners; considers, therefore, that public planning and stronger social partnerships and civil society engagement at local, national and EU level are fundamental to achieving climate neutrality across all sectors of society in a fair, inclusive and socially sustainable way;

105. Welcomes the adoption of the European hydrogen strategy, which sets targets for the installation of at least 6 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysers in the Union by 2024 and 40 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysers by 2030; recalls the need to accelerate the decarbonisation of existing hydrogen production by increasing renewable hydrogen production; stresses the importance of phasing out fossil-based hydrogen as soon as possible, focusing instead on safe and sustainable technologies; urges the Commission and the Member States to immediately start planning that phase out carefully, so that the production of fossil-based hydrogen starts decreasing swiftly, predictably and irreversibly and so that the prolongation of the lifetime of fossil-based production facilities is avoided; notes that a number of fossil-based hydrogen production sites are located in the just transition territories and therefore highlights the fact that effective support measures facilitating the reduction of GHG emissions and contributing to the reskilling and further employability of the local workforce are required;

106. Welcomes the EU offshore renewable energy strategy and its ambition of increasing Europe’s offshore capacity to at least 60 GW by 2030 and to 340 GW by 2050; stresses the need to ensure that the implementation of the strategy benefits the whole Union, including landlocked Member States;

107. Is convinced of the need to create the conditions for consumers to have more incentives to choose more sustainable forms of energy and to be more active; calls on the Commission to assess the remaining barriers to renewable self-consumption and renewable energy communities, in particular in low-income or vulnerable households;

108. Welcomes the initiative to revise the Energy Taxation Directive (2003/96/EC) to transform it into an instrument aligning taxation policies to the energy and climate targets for 2030 and 2050, while assessing the impacts, including on consumers, energy poverty and transportation poverty; calls on the Member States to consider reducing taxes and levies on renewable energy across the Union, as appropriate, and to strengthen financial incentives to produce renewable energy;

109. Stresses that although Europe is working towards meeting its ambitious goals, achieving global net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest will require coordinated global action; highlights that developing countries will require various degrees of international assistance in order to achieve their green transition; stresses the importance of enhancing close cross-border cooperation and the sharing of best practices with international partners in the fields of policy-making and science, including technology transfer, in order to promote energy efficiency and investments in sustainable energy technologies and infrastructure;

110. Welcomes the Commission’s intention to adopt an action plan for the digitalisation of the energy sector in order to position the EU as a technological leader and to enable a more integrated energy system with intelligent solutions in specific sectors and with improved funding for the 2021-2027 period; recalls the importance of addressing cybersecurity risks in the energy sector in order to ensure the resilience of the energy systems;

Research, innovation, digital technologies and space policy

111. Welcomes the role of the Horizon Europe programme and its contribution to climate neutrality; is of the opinion that the partnerships under Horizon Europe, including the Joint Undertakings, will foster collaboration between the public and private sectors with the goal of contributing to the achievement of the green transition, while ensuring that sustainable innovations are available, accessible and affordable; underlines the importance of improving communication to citizens concerning the results of European R&D projects and on new technologies, including lighthouse projects, in order to increase public acceptance and make the role of the Union more visible to its citizens;

112. Highlights the need to attract more investment, both public and private, in the research, innovation and deployment of new sustainable technologies, including in labour-intensive industries, in necessary new infrastructure networks and projects contributing to the goals of the European Green Deal and the Paris Agreement;

113. Underlines the importance of ensuring coherence and consistency in incentives to foster innovative technologies to achieve the 2030 and 2050 targets, addressing the deployment of already mature technologies as well as investments in new technologies that need to be developed to reach the Union’s goal of climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest;

114. Underlines the fundamental role that digital technologies can play in supporting the EU’s green transition; underlines that the EU’s recovery requires creating a stable regulatory framework and financial incentives also for private players in order to establish and ensure market-driven progress towards research, innovation and the development of sustainable technologies;

115. Underlines that digitalisation is one of the key factors driving energy system integration as it can enable dynamic and interlinked flows of energy carriers, allow for more diverse markets to be interconnected, and provide the necessary data to match supply and demand; highlights the potential of digital technologies to increase energy efficiency and thus reduce overall GHG emissions; recalls that the Commission estimates that the environmental footprint of ICT accounts for between 5 % and 9 % of global electricity use and more than 2 % of global GHG emissions; stresses that, according to a 2018 study on artificial intelligence by the Commission’s Joint Research Centre, data centres and data transmission could represent between 3 % and 4 % of the Union’s total electricity consumption; highlights that the Commission expects a 28 % increase in data centre consumption between 2018 and 2030; underlines that 47 % of digital carbon emissions are due to consumer equipment such as computers, smartphones, tablets and other connected objects; calls therefore for measures to reduce the carbon footprint of the ICT sector by ensuring energy and resource efficiency, and reiterates the goal of making data centres climate neutral and highly energy efficient by no later than 2030, as stated in the digital strategy;

116. Recalls the importance of R&I’s contribution to achieving the goals set out in the Paris Agreement and the objectives of the European Green Deal; calls on the Commission and the Member States to support research and innovation and an overall increase in EU and national budgets devoted to R&I in sustainable and safe energy technologies and innovation; calls on the Commission to consider further supporting technologies and innovative solutions that will contribute to a climate-proof and integrated energy system, including those where Europe has global leadership and domestic-based value chains; considers it is essential to have key segments of renewable energy value chains within the Union in order to achieve the climate goals and to bring significant economic benefits to Europeans, and calls for adequate measures to support the role of Europe-based content in the renewable energy systems (RES) supply chain and legislation;

Climate change and development

117. Believes that COP26 presents an opportunity to renew efforts to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the UN SDGs, in particular SDG 13 (Climate Action); considers that the 2030 Agenda must act as a roadmap towards a greener, fairer and more sustainable future;

118. Stresses the importance of a human rights approach in climate action to ensure that all measures respect and support human rights of all people;

119. Urges the Parties to the UNFCCC to continue increasing their mitigation and adaptation ambition in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and to integrate the human rights dimension in their NDCs and their adaptation communication; calls on the Secretariat of the UNFCCC to develop guidelines on how to integrate human rights protections into NDCs and adaptation communication in collaboration with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights;

120. Is aware of the mass of evidence that the impacts of climate change cause and exacerbate the scarcity of vital resources such as arable land, damage or ruin livelihood-sustaining ecosystems and increase the incidence and gravity of natural catastrophes, thereby acting as drivers of conflicts, displacement of populations and humanitarian crises;

121. Recalls that, according to the fifth assessment report of the IPCC, indigenous, local and traditional forms of knowledge are a major resource for adapting to climate change; regrets that indigenous knowledge is not being effectively used, while the explicit recognition of indigenous and tribal peoples and their rights remains absent from the legal, policy and institutional frameworks of many countries and while the implementation of rights remains a major issue;

122. Insists on the imperative need to include in the operational rules of the Sustainable Development Mechanism robust guarantees of mitigation and of protection of indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ rights in every project under this mechanism; underlines the importance of harnessing the knowledge of indigenous and local communities about environmental protection and ensuring that their voices are heard as part of international climate action efforts;

123. Calls for the EU to take the lead in bringing WTO agreements fully into line with the Paris Agreement and to ensure that its own trade and investment agreements do not raise any obstacle to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the achievements of the UN SDGs but rather fully support them;

Role of the European Parliament

124. Believes, since it must give its consent to international agreements and plays a central role in the domestic implementation of the Paris Agreement as co-legislator, that it should be an integral part of the EU delegation; insists, therefore, to be allowed to attend EU coordination meetings at COP26 in Glasgow and to be guaranteed access to all preparatory documents from the moment negotiations begin;


° °

125. 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 UNFCCC, with the request that it be circulated to all non-EU Parties to that convention.


Last updated: 14 October 2021
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