Most people would agree that climate change needs to be tackled, but it is less clear where the money needed to do this should come from. MEPs discussed the issue with their national counterparts on Monday 30 March during a hearing on the climate conference that is due to take place in Paris in December this year. National MPs agreed that their work starts now to ensure their governments prepare for the Paris conference.
“The EU has always been at the forefront of the fight against climate change,” said Italian EPP member Giovanni La Via. As the chair of the environment committee, he opened the meeting by giving a warm welcome to the members of the 22 national parliaments who were present.
German S&D member Jo Leinen said that finding the funding was going to be the main challenge: "Who is going to come up with the hundreds of billions of euros that will have to be presented in Paris?"
Dutch Alde member Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy said: "As long as the rich world is not willing to pay more for tackling climate change, developing countries are not really willing to come forward with strong targets for CO2 reduction."
Dutch Greens/EFA member Bas Eickhout said it would be up to the finance ministers going to the conference in Paris: "The deal-maker or breaker in Paris is going to be the financing." He added that if the developed countries didn't contribute $100 billion per year by 2020, as they had promised to do, environmental diplomacy would be dead.
Miguel Arias, the commissioner responsible for climate action, said: "Paris on its own will not solve the climate issue." He pointed out that the agreement would have to be ratified by the national parliaments.
Fabienne Keller, of the French Senate, said her country was determined to make a sustainable agreement possible at the Paris conference.
Participants also discussed what should be done after the climate conference in Paris.
- The EU has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030, compared to levels emitted in 1990
- Developed countries have agreed to contribute $100 billion every year from 2020 to the Green Climate Fund that helps developing countries to adapt and mitigate climate change
- Nine out of ten Europeans (90%) think that climate change is a serious or a very serious problem