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

Texts tabled :


Debates :

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

Votes :

PV 14/10/2015 - 15.8
CRE 14/10/2015 - 15.8
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


Texts adopted
PDF 411kWORD 116k
Wednesday, 14 October 2015 - Brussels
Towards a new international climate agreement in Paris

European Parliament resolution of 14 October 2015 on Towards a new international climate agreement in Paris (2015/2112(INI))

The European Parliament,

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

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

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

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

–  having regard to the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UNFCCC and the 8th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 8) held in Doha, Qatar, from 26 November to 8 December 2012, and to the adoption of the Doha Climate Gateway,

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

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

–  having regard to the 21th Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UNFCCC and the 11th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 11) to be held in Paris, France, from 30 November to 11 December 2015,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–  having regard to the encyclical Laudato Si’,

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

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

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

–  having regard to the Commission communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on addressing the challenges of deforestation and forest degradation to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss (COM(2008)0645),

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

J.  whereas the efforts to mitigate global warming should not be seen as an obstacle to striving for economic growth but should, on the contrary, be seen as a driving force in the realisation of new and sustainable economic growth and employment;

K.  whereas the EU has thus far played a leading role in the efforts to mitigate global warming and will continue to do so in the run-up to a new international climate agreement in Paris at the end of 2015; demands that this ambition be matched by other big emitters;

Urgency to act at the global level

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

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

3.  Recalls that limiting the rise in global temperature to an average of 2 °C does not guarantee that significant adverse climate impacts will be avoided; calls on the Conference of the Parties to assess the possibility of limiting the rise in global temperature to an average of 1,5 °C;

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

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

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

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

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

An ambitious, global, legally binding agreement

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

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

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

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

13.  Is concerned that the early analysis of the aggregate impact of the INDCs submitted so far has concluded that current unrevised INDCs would result in the global average temperature rising by between 2.7°C and 3.5°C; calls for the Parties to agree at COP21 in Paris to revise the current INDCs before 2020 in order to bring them into line with the latest scientific assessments and a safe 2°C-compatible global carbon budget;

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

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

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

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

18.  Calls insistently on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that the Paris Agreement recognises that respect for, and protection and promotion of, human rights, encompassing gender equality, full and equal participation of women, and the active promotion of a just transition for the workforce to create decent work and quality jobs for all, are a prerequisite for effective global climate action;

Pre-2020 ambition and the Kyoto Protocol

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

20.  Notes that the EU is now well on track to meet the 2020 targets for GHG emission reduction and renewable energy, and that significant improvements have been made as regards energy intensity thanks to more efficient buildings, products, industrial processes and vehicles, while the European economy has grown by 45 % since 1990; stresses that the 20/20/20 targets for GHG emissions, renewable energy and energy savings have played a key role in driving this progress and sustaining the employment of more than 4,2 million people in various eco-industries(12), with continuous growth during the economic crisis;

21.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to submit the latest EU GHG emission projections for the period up to 2020 to the UNFCCC and to announce that the EU will overachieve its 2020 GHG emission reduction target by at least 2 gigatonnes;

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

Agenda of solutions

23.  Calls on the EU and its Member States to work with all civil society actors (institutions, private sector, NGOs and local communities) to develop reduction initiatives in key sectors (energy, technology, cities, transportation, etc.), as well as adaptation and resilience initiatives in response to adaptation issues, particularly as regards access to water, food security and risk prevention; calls on all governments and civil society actors to support and strengthen this agenda for action;

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comprehensive effort of all sectors

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

31.  Stresses the need to ensure a predictable regulatory environment which directs investment towards measures to reduce GHG emissions and fosters the transition to a low-carbon economy;

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

33.  Notes that deforestation and forest degradation are responsible for 20 % of global GHG emissions, and emphasises the role of forests in climate change mitigation and the need to enhance the adaptive capacities and resilience of forests to climate change; calls on the EU to pursue its objective of halting global forest loss by 2030 and to at least halve tropical deforestation by 2020, compared with 2008 levels; underlines that achieving these commitments together with restoring 350 million hectares of forests, as called for in the New York Declaration on Forests, could reduce CO2 emissions by 4,5-8,8 billion tons per year by 2030; emphasises that without significant new mitigation efforts focused on the tropical forest sector (REDD+) the achievement of the below 2 °C target is likely to be impossible; calls furthermore for the EU to scale up international finance for reducing deforestation in developing countries;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

43.  Underlines the serious negative and often irreversible consequences of inaction, recalling that climate change affects all regions around the world in different but highly damaging ways, resulting in migration flows and losses of lives, as well as economic, ecological and social losses; highlights the importance of scientific evidence as a driver of long-term policy decisions and that ambition should be based on solid scientific recommendations; stresses that a concerted global political and financial push for research, development and innovation activities in clean and renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency is crucial to meeting our climate goals and to facilitating growth;

44.  Calls for the EU to step up efforts to regulate a global HFC phase-down under the Montreal Protocol; recalls that the EU has adopted ambitious legislation to phase down HFCs by 79 % by 2030 as climate-friendly alternatives are widely available and their potential should be fully exploited; notes that phasing down the use of HFCs represents a low-hanging fruit for mitigating actions in and outside the EU, and calls for the EU to be actively engaged in facilitating global action on HFCs;

Scientific research, technological development and innovation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Climate finance: cornerstone of the Paris Agreement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Achieving climate resilience through adaptation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scaling up climate diplomacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

80.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that any measure adopted by a Party to the Paris Agreement relating to the objective of stabilising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, or relating to any of the principles or commitments contained in Articles 3 and 4 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, will not be subject to any existing or future treaty of a Party to the extent that it allows for investor-state dispute settlement;

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

The European Parliament

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

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

84.  Points out that lobby activities before and during the COP 21 negotiations can have influence on the outcomes of the negotiations; stresses therefore that such activities should be transparent, clearly indicated in the UNFCCC daily agenda of the COP 21 and that the Conference should allow equitable access to all relevant stakeholders;

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

o   o

86.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Secretariat of the UNFCCC, with the request that it be circulated to all non-EU Parties.

(1) OJ C 285 E, 21.10.2010, p. 1.
(2) OJ C 341 E, 16.12.2010, p. 25.
(3) OJ C 99 E, 3.4.2012, p. 77.
(4) OJ C 153 E, 31.5.2013, p. 83.
(5) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0452.
(6) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0443.
(7) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0063.
(8) OJ L 8, 13.1.2009, p. 3.
(9) OJ C 67 E, 18.3.2010, p. 44.
(10) OJ C 251 E, 31.8.2013, p. 75.
(11) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0094.
(12) Eurostat data on the environmental goods and services sector quoted in ‘A policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030’ (COM(2014)0015).

Legal notice - Privacy policy