European Interest

Brussels welcomes UN climate change report

A view of the Thermal power station in Gardanne, Provence, France.

A Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways was released by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on October 8.

The UN report provides policymakers across the globe with a strong scientific basis for their efforts to modernise the economy, tackle climate change, promote sustainable development and eradicate poverty.

In a joint statement, European Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete for Climate Action and Energy and Commissioner Carlos Moedas for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “The EU has been at the forefront of addressing the root causes of climate change and strengthening a concerted global response to it in the framework of the Paris Agreement. Today’s report is a remarkable endeavour of scientists to inform policy-makers worldwide and society at large. EU-funded research provided indispensable input to this undertaking. We would like to thank the scientists for their outstanding work in delivering this timely report.”

They also said the report shows that 1.5°C is doable, “provided we act now and use every tool at our disposal”.

Next month, the Commission is scheduled to present an EU strategy for long-term greenhouse gas emission reduction.

According to a Commission press release, the EU needs around €180bn in extra investment every year until 2030 in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean transport to meet the Paris targets.

Meanwhile, ahead of the Environment Council’s meeting on October 9, the S&D Euro MPs called for urgent additional measures to fulfil the Paris Agreement pledges.

S&D vice-president Kathleen Van Brempt, S&D MEP and Parliament’s negotiator on the resolution for the 2018 climate summit, Jo Leinen, and S&D spokesperson on environment, Miriam Dalli MEP, said: “We call on the EU environment ministers to be bold and ambitious. The EU must significantly increase the climate change target for 2030 and deliver on its promises. A more ambitious 2030 goal is within reach. The European Parliament has already set the pace by adopting a number of reports to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in buildings, power generation and transport. It is time for the Environment Council to act upon this decisively.”

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