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PV 10/02/2010 - 9.9
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Wednesday, 10 February 2010 - Strasbourg
Outcome of the Copenhagen summit on climate change

European Parliament resolution of 10 February 2010 on the outcome of the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change (COP 15)

The European Parliament,

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

–   having regard to the Bali Action Plan (Decision 1/COP 13),

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

–   having regard to the EU Climate Change Package adopted on 17 December 2008,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions relating to climate change, and in particular that of 25 November 2009 on the EU strategy for the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change (COP 15),

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

–   having regard to Rule 110(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas negotiations on a comprehensive international post-2012 agreement on climate change, which were due to be concluded in Copenhagen in December 2009, ended with a disappointing Accord, of which note was merely taken by the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC,

B.   whereas the Accord is not legally binding and does not include any emission reduction targets or indeed any specific commitment to conclude a legally binging agreement in 2010,

C.   whereas the Accord recognises the need to limit global temperatures rise to no more than 2°C and includes a reference to exploring pathways to remaining below a 1.5°C global temperature increase,

D.   whereas the EU failed to play a leading role in the fight against climate change and was not even involved in the final negotiations with the USA, China, India, Brazil and South Africa on the final draft of the Accord,

E.   whereas the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, together with an ever-mounting body of scientific evidence, recognises that deep cuts in global emissions are required to keep the world temperature below a 2°C increase,

F.   whereas several developed and developing countries failed to support the formulation and implementation of a new international climate protection framework,

G.   whereas the EU should not allow its own commitment to climate change action to falter, even if some of our main negotiating partners continue to appear unwilling or unable to curb their emissions trajectories,

H.  Notes that only 28 states outside the EU have communicated greenhouse gas emission targets from 2020 to the UN by the deadline of 31 January 2010 and that some only communicated efficiency targets that will not lead to reductions at all,

1.  Regrets the weakness of the Accord achieved at the COP 15 as it brings us no closer to a global comprehensive post-2012 agreement, does not set global mid- or long-term reduction targets, and does not state when global emissions would need to peak; takes note, furthermore, of the disappointment in the public mind as regards the failure to reach a meaningful agreement in Copenhagen;

2.  Considers that delay in finding international agreement is not a justification for postponing further EU policies to achieve the already legally binding commitment to reduce our emissions by 20% by 2020; reiterates our desire to move to a 30% reduction; notes also that the initiatives taken within the EU to promote and encourage the green economy, energy security and reduced energy dependency will make it increasingly easy to fulfil a 30% reduction commitment;

3.  Recognises that the estimated cost of the EU achieving a 30% cut in 1990 emissions by 2020 is now less than the estimated cost of achieving a 20% cut when that was agreed, and calls on the Commission, therefore, to bring forward a proposal for the EU to raise its ambition and unilaterally to set a 2020 reduction target greater than 20%;

4.  Calls on the EU to achieve domestic targets through energy savings and renewable energy sources, and for an ambitious and binding energy savings target to be agreed as soon as possible;

5.  Expresses its disappointment at the Member States' lack of unity; urges the EU, therefore, to speak with one voice in international climate negotiations in order to keep its leading role in negotiations towards a binding, comprehensive post-2012 agreement, in line with the latest developments in science and consistent with the 2°C objective at COP 16;

6.  Regrets, furthermore, that the EU was not able, through earlier specific commitments to international public finance for climate efforts in developing countries, to build confidence in the negotiations in order to make further progress in the Ad Hoc Working Groups; calls on the EU, furthermore, to clarify its position regarding a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol being conditional on similar commitments being made by the US under another legal instrument and to ensure that surplus AAUs and LULUCF rules do not undermine its environmental integrity;

7.  Underlines that there is a need to create a new 'climate diplomacy'; calls, therefore, on the EU's High Representative and the Commissioner responsible for climate action to lead this strategy, especially with the more progressive developing and emerging countries; urges the EU to agree on a 'Roadmap for Mexico' which will include the discussion of climate policies in every strategic partnership and bilateral and multilateral cooperation agreement in order to create a more coherent external climate protection strategy; calls on the EU and its Member States to build an 'Alliance of Responsibility', open to all countries that consider climate change as a major threat to humanity and are prepared to act in order to stop global warming;

8.  Calls on the EU and its Member States to enforce the principle of 'climate justice' in the long-term perspective 2050 and beyond; advocates, therefore, an equity clause in future international climate negotiations;

9.  Calls on forums such as G20 or the Major Economies Forum, representing the major carbon producers, to take greater responsibility in helping to forge consensus in the formal negotiations;

10.  Notes the commitment to a USD 100 billion annual fund from developed countries by 2020 and the sum of USD 30 bn for developing countries over the next three years (2010-2012), to help fight climate change and the establishing of a green climate fund to support projects in developing countries related to deforestation and forest degradation; regrets, however, that the commitment falls short of the Commission's estimation that EUR 100 billion would be raised by 2020;

11.  Stresses the historical responsibility of developed countries for irreversible climate change and their responsibility to provide sufficient, sustainable and predictable financial and technical support to the developing countries to allow them to commit themselves to the reduction of their greenhouse gas emissions, to adapt to the consequences of climate change and to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as to enhance capacity building, in order to comply with obligations under the future international agreement on climate change;

12.  Insists that such commitments to provide for the required predictable financial support for climate change mitigation and adaptation in the context of the UNFCCC must be new and additional to ODA and independent of annual budgetary procedures in the Member States; recalls the already-existing commitments aimed at achieving ODA levels of 0.7 % of GDP by 2015;

13.  Believes that the EU should immediately enter into negotiations with our US counterparts so that the emerging carbon market in the US is compatible with our own, thereby creating a transatlantic carbon market as a precursor for a global one;

14.  Stresses the need for the EUR 7.2 billion "fast-start" financial support for developing countries, as pledged by the EU Member States, to be, new and additional to ODA budgets, coordinated at EU level and made operational as soon as possible and in any case before the June 2010 meeting in Bonn; considers this to be a key factor in building confidence for a successful meeting in Mexico; calls also on the Commission to report on the use of the pledged fast-start funding and its additionality to existing ODA before the aforementioned Bonn meeting;

15.  Recalls that the collective contribution by the EU towards developing countries' mitigation efforts and adaptation needs should not be less than EUR 30 000 million per annum by 2020, a figure that may increase as new knowledge is acquired concerning the severity of climate change and the scale of its costs;

16.  Emphasises that the upcoming EU budget review needs to focus on providing sufficient resources for measures to protect against, and adapt to, climate change, both within EU and in developing countries; notes also that the review should consider the introduction of new and innovative financial mechanisms to support international climate action;

17.  Welcomes the ambitious commitment that some developing countries made before, during and after the Copenhagen negotiations; notes that the Accord found an agreement regarding the measuring, reporting and verification of developing country mitigation actions through national communications, which will be subject to international consultations and analysis under clearly defined guidelines, still to be defined, that will need to ensure that sovereignty and a proper use of funds are respected;

18.  Agrees with the setting up a mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and enhancing removals of greenhouse gas emissions by forests and for the establishment of a Technology Mechanism to accelerate technology development and transfer, and welcomes the reference to the role of markets in enhancing the cost-effectiveness of mitigation actions; notes also that effective implementation of such mechanisms requires agreement in the UNFCCC framework;

19.  Emphasises that any future REDD scheme must respect the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, including their right to collective property and to autonomous indigenous territories, and provide for their full and effective participation, including in the development and implementation of national REDD plans, and allocation or distribution of financing;

20.  Calls for the environmental effectiveness of Annex I emissions reduction targets to be the guiding principle as regards the EU approach to international accounting rules for forest management and LULUCF, to flexible mechanisms and to the banking of any overachievement during first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol towards post-2012 targets;

21.  Regrets the lack of progress in tackling global aviation and maritime emissions; calls on the EU to ensure that the full climate impact of aviation is taken into account and that the reduction targets for the aviation and maritime sectors are the same as other industry sectors in the future agreement;

22.  Regrets that the USA and China were not prepared to accept a more ambitious agreement for internal policy reasons; believes that the European Union, the USA and China are key to ensuring a binding international agreement; urges the United States and China, as well as other international partners, therefore, to come up with further commitments to an international system of climate protection, in order to resume discussions and achieve an ambitious and legally binding international agreement in line with the latest developments in science and consistent with the 2ºC objective;

23.  Regrets that some countries, namely Sudan and the ALBA-Countries, adopted a blocking attitude in the international negotiations in order to avoid strict and binding commitments, in spite of the high level of political momentum in Copenhagen;

24.  Points to the growing public awareness of the impact of climate change in the developing world, but also within rapidly emerging economies; calls for enhanced dialogue, in particular with the least developed countries, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and Africa, on the way to a binding international agreement on climate change in order to reduce the impact and foreseeable consequences of climate change on demographics, public health, migration and the economy in those regions;

25.  Stresses the urgent need for the IPCC to review all its conclusions in order to confirm that they have been peer-reviewed in accordance with the best principles of science, suggests that the preparation of an interim report bringing the conclusions up to date should be brought forward, and believes that future reports should make specific reference to the claims of those who challenge the majority view and that these too should be subjected to peer review;

26.  Finds it essential, for the competitiveness of EU industry, that comparable efforts be accepted by other industrialised nations outside the EU, as well as reasonable reduction commitments by developing and emerging economies; recalls that reduction targets must be measurable, reportable and verifiable, and welcomes in this respect the commitments by some developing countries to submit national reports on their emissions reductions efforts;

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

28.  Emphasises that the challenges of the climate policy in the future lie not only with CO2 reduction but also a more efficient and sustainable use of natural resources;

29.  Reaffirms its support for the reform process in the UN, and notes that the outcome of the Copenhagen Climate Conference is another example confirming the urgent need to reconsider working methods within the UN; remains committed, moreover, to the climate negotiations under the UN framework, as the only legitimate body to address an issue of such fundamental importance to the entire global community; considers, however, that serious reflection on how to make the process more efficient is urgently needed;

30.  Calls for greater transparency to allow for a better involvement of civil society and stakeholders at COP 16 in Mexico;

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

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