COP23: the EU should ratchet up its climate goals 

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  • EU needs a 2050 zero-emissions strategy
  • additional financing sources of emissions-reducing investments
  • MEPs will be at the UN conference on climate change next November

With the next round of UN climate talks taking place in Bonn 6-17 November, MEPs call on the EU to set out a mid-century zero emissions strategy by 2018.

In a resolution put to the vote on Wednesday, MEPs agreed on recommendations to EU institutions and countries ahead of the COP23 meeting in November in Bonn. They call on EU leaders to implement the agreement with EU legislation and ratchet up the EU’s goals and policy instruments.

As all UNFCCC parties have to communicate their long-term targets by 2020, MEPs also call on the Commission to prepare by 2018 a mid-century zero emissions strategy for the EU, with the aim of keeping the temperature rise well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1,5°C. The process should begin as soon as possible, they say.

US decision “a step backwards”, but MEPs hail strong worldwide response

MEPs express their disappointment at US President Trump’s announcement of his intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. “This decision represents a step backwards”, they noted, but they welcome the strong responses from governments around the world in favour of the full implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Climate finance

MEPs are calling for concrete EU and international commitments to deliver additional financing sources. Lending and investment practices should be in line with the well below 2°C target, including divesting from fossil fuels and phasing out export credits (i.e. financial incentives) for fossil fuel investments, they say.

Global carbon markets

MEPs welcome the development of emissions trading systems globally, as 18 of them are in operation across four continents. They encourage the Commission to promote links between the EU ETS and other carbon markets, so as to increase climate ambition and at the same time help to reduce the risk of carbon leakage.

Bonn meeting

MEPs expect the conference in Bonn to clarify the structure of the 2018 “Facilitative Dialogue”, which will aim to take stock of governments’ efforts towards the long-term goal

Next steps

The resolution was adopted by show of hands. A Parliament delegation led by Environment Committee chair Adina-Ioana Vălean (EPP, RO) will attend the conference from 13 to 17 November.

Quick Facts

The European Parliament is currently working on three pieces of legislation to implement the Paris Agreement: the post-2020 carbon market (EU ETS) reform (rapporteur Julie Girling), the 2030 targets effort-sharing regulation (rapporteur Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy) and the regulation on greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land-use, land-use change and forestry (rapporteur Norbert Lins).