On January 15th 2020, the European Parliament approved with a large majority a Joint Motion for a Resolution (JMR) on the European Green Deal, at the initiative of the Greens/EFA Group. The resolution calls on the European Commission to propose an ambitious Climate Law. The far-reaching text is an important push to the EU Commission to deliver the strong and urgent climate action that millions of citizens are expecting. The European Green Party insists on the Common Agricultural Policy and trade policies to be more strongly aligned with the European Green Deal’s ambitions.

The framework of the resolution echoes the Climate Emergency declared by the European Parliament in November 2019 and lays out a roadmap for next steps. It calls for the European Commission to propose a European Climate Law with clear targets by March 2020. March is the last deadline if Europe wants to be ready for COP26 in Glasgow. The European Parliament demands carbon neutrality by 2050 at the latest and a 2030 target of 55% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels – this is a starting point for climate policy that must reflect the best available science.

A Just Transition Fund (JTF) proposed by the European Commission will support phasing out of coal-dependent regions. Greens believe that citizens in the most affected regions are asking for climate action, but should be strongly supported in the transition to a Green economy.

“It took the Green Wave and the uprise of millions of citizens in Europe to finally get the established parties and the European Commission to start delivering on fighting the climate crisis. We welcome the proposal of a just transition fund for phasing out coal generated electricity as a good step forward to stand together in fighting the climate crisis in solidarity with European citizens in the coal regions,” commented Thomas Waitz, co-chair of the European Green Party (EGP).

“In particular in countries like Poland or Romania, thousands of places of work and hundreds of thousands of households still depend on coal for their heat and electricity. Poland, the largest beneficiary, will benefit from €2 billion under the just transition fund,” he said.

“From the right for a livable planet and a stable climate, to sustainability rules in European trade policy, this resolution has proven once again that Green policies are the way forward when it comes to tackling the climate crisis,” added Evelyne Huytebroeck, co-chair of the EGP.

“However, the European Commission must now propose higher standards on climate and biodiversity protection as well as social justice and an ambitious energy transition plan. The Commission has an opportunity to show it is sincere about addressing the ecological challenges of our times and the Greens will continue to thoroughly assess its proposals,” concluded Huytebroeck.