Some EU members ask to step up climate action - leaked "non-paper"
A leaked “non-paper" by the eight countries - France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Portugal and Luxembourg - calls on the European Union to step up the fight against climate change and sign up to a European Commission plan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions “by 2050 at the latest", EURACTIV reported.
Germany, Italy, Poland, and Hungary were notably absent from the list of signatories of the leaked document, obtained by EURACTIV, echoing divisions at a recent EU summit.
The EU executive plans to decarbonise the EU by 2050, linking it specifically to the Paris Agreement objective of keeping global warming below 1.5°C.
Germany, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic refused in March to specifically link EU climate action with the 1.5°C objective. They also oppose any time-bound commitment to the EU’s climate neutrality objective, deleting any reference to 2050 for reaching that goal.
EU climate action plans are among the main points of the 9 May EU summit to be held in Romania. The “non-paper" also calls on the EU to raise its greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030, ahead of a special United Nations climate summit in New York next September where world leaders will take stock of their emission reduction pledges, in line with the Paris climate agreement.
According to the UN, looking at the current environmental processes there is no chance of meeting the climate targets laid down in the Paris climate agreement.
The world’s top climate scientists warned last year that global warming above 1.5°C would have devastating effects for the planet, causing extreme heat, floods and storms that risk plunging millions into misery and forced migration.
According to the UN, current pledges would lead to global warming of more than 3°C, which scientists warned could have devastating impacts, including the mass extinction of species and threat to ecosystems that are essential for agriculture and the survival of humankind.
But EU contributions to the Paris goals are so far falling short. An analysis published today by Carbon Market Watch, a think-tank, found “a serious lack of commitment on behalf of governments" in Italy, Hungary, Poland and Romania in particular.
Insufficient efforts to combat climate change were pointed out by a recent report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), as well. The report showed that for the first time since 2001, renewables power capacity stalled in 2018.
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