EU recognises 'need' to strengthen climate targets
Brussels : In response to the landmark IPCC report on global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius published last week, 28 EU heads of state and government have called upon all countries of the world to commit at the upcoming climate summit in Poland to review the levels of ambition of their Paris Agreement pledges by 2020.
The EU now needs to translate this statement into an action plan on how and when its member states will agree on a new 2030 target, in line with the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement.
In reaction to the heads of state and governments' decision, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe Director Wendel Trio said on Thursday: "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scientists gave our leaders a to-do list for avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.
"Today's statement from the EU ticks the first box on this list as it acknowledges that we need to urgently revisit our weak climate pledges. It is now time for EU leaders to act and agree to massively increase emission cuts within the bloc, to galvanize other countries to do the same."
"To stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius, the EU will need to significantly increase its 2030 target, even beyond the 55 per cent reduction some member states are calling for and ensure it achieves net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040," Trio added.
The EU will have a critical opportunity to commit to a much higher climate target at the all-important Conference of Parties (COP24) summit in Katowice in Poland this year.
The process of revising the 2030 target should be finalised by EU heads of state and government before the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' Global Climate Summit set to take place in September 2019 in New York and aimed to review the Paris Agreement commitments.