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EU out of sync with the reality of climate change

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

[Brussels, 27 March 2013] - CAN Europe welcomes the release of the European Commission's 2030 Green Paper today [1] as an effort to move forward discussions on Europe's post-2020 climate and energy policy framework. The content of the paper, however, is deeply disappointing, expressing an approach inadequate to address the growing urgency of climate change, with targets reflecting barely more than a business-as-usual scenario.

"By neglecting the seriousness of the climate crisis, the Commission does not recognise the reality of the planet we are living on or the problems ordinary people are facing," said Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe. "The cost to our economy from inaction on climate change will be enormous. By setting ambitious and binding targets for renewable energy and energy savings, in addition to a greenhouse gas emission reduction target that is in line with avoiding dangerous climate change, we could begin to tackle the problem."

The Green Paper focuses mainly on issues related to the economic crisis, competitiveness and energy security, barely even acknowledging climate change. At the same time, reports from the World Economic Forum, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are telling world leaders that the economic crisis cannot be solved without tackling the climate crisis.

"Study after study shows that reducing our carbon footprint would IMPROVE the competitiveness of European industry while providing greater energy security and millions of new jobs," Trio continued. "The level of ambition needed to make the transition to a more sustainable energy system is totally missing from the Green Paper."

Yesterday the Commission released a communication on the global legally binding agreement on climate change the world has committed to delivering by 2015. [2] In contrast to today's 2030 Green Paper on domestic action, the Commission's Communication on the international climate change agreement acknowledges the urgency of our climate problem and the need to step up efforts globally.

While the international communication calls for tripling climate action by 2020 to have the possibility of avoiding catastrophic climate change, the Green Paper does not connect the dots and acknowledge the urgent need to ramp up the EU's stalling climate policies. For the 2015 global agreement to be anything close to adequate to the climate challenge facing us, a commitment to ambitious climate action from the EU is crucially important.

Media contact

   Vanessa Bulkacz
   Communications Manager
   Direct line: +32 2894 4675
   Email: vanessa/at/caneurope.org

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