MEPs urge to accelerate the global effort in the fight against climate change and keep the EU in the lead. On Thursday, the plenary adopted its position on the next United Nations Conference on Climate Change, which will take place in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12, with 527 votes in favor, 134 against and 35 abstentions.
In the resolution, MEPs express concern that the national targets agreed in Paris in 2015 will lead to global warming well above three degrees Celsius by 2100 compared to pre-industrial levels. They also emphasize that the Union must maintain its leadership in the fight against climate change and commit to working so that the climate package “Goal 55 by 2030” is in line with the Paris Agreement.
In order to accelerate the fight against climate change, the EP urges the Union to replace the current ten-year plan with a five-year strategy. Within that period all direct and indirect subsidies for fossil fuels must be gradually eliminated in the EU, point out the MEPs, who also encourage other countries to do the same. Parliament recalls that biodiversity plays an essential role in enabling humans to combat and adapt to global warming. Therefore, nature-based solutions are win-win, as they involve protecting, restoring and sustainably managing fragile ecosystems.
G20 countries must take the lead and commit to achieving climate neutrality by 2050, according to the EP. In addition, the plenary session urges the Commission to create an international climate club with other major greenhouse gas emitters to establish common standards and raise global environmental targets, including through a carbon border adjustment mechanism.
On the one hand, MEPs celebrate the return of the US to the Paris Agreement and President Joe Biden’s commitment to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 2005. They expect concrete political and financing measures to achieve said objective. On the other hand, the Chamber recognizes China’s willingness to become a constructive partner in global climate negotiations, but admits concern about the country’s dependence on coal. Along these lines, MEPs reaffirm that China should raise its environmental objectives, including the reduction of all greenhouse gas emissions, and not just carbon dioxide emissions.
The European Parliament recalls the promise of developed countries to raise at least $100 billion annually to finance climate action in developing countries. An amount that must increase from 2025, when emerging economies would have to start contributing. A roadmap will need to be agreed, detailing each developed country’s fair contribution to this financing plan. Furthermore, MEPs want to ensure that all developing countries can participate in COP26, despite Covid-19 restrictions.
Parliament, which declared a climate emergency on 28 November 2019, has long pushed for more ambitious EU climate and biodiversity legislation. In June 2021 it adopted the Climate Law, which transforms the Green Deal’s political commitment to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 into a binding obligation for the EU and Member States. In addition, the new regulation raises the target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 from 40% to at least 55%, compared to 1990. In July 2021, the Commission presented the package of measures “Target 55 by 2030” to help the EU achieve the most ambitious targets for 2030.