A vote today by the Parliament on the future European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Funds for 2021-2027 opens the possibilities for continued funding of fossil fuels, in spite of the EU’s obligations to reduce greenhouse gases under the Paris Agreement and its net-zero emissions Long Term Strategy.
Today the members of the European Parliament adopted the Common Provisions Regulation, which sets the principles and common rules on how Cohesion Policy funding should be spent from 2021 to 2027. Civil society groups CEE Bankwatch Network and Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe welcome the agreed climate-friendly provisions, including the exclusion of fossil fuel investments, but they must be reflected in tomorrow’s vote on the Regional Development Fund in order to become reality.
Today the European Parliament's Committee on Regional Development (REGI) adopted the so-called Common Provisions Regulation, which sets the conditions and principles governing the funding for Cohesion Policy from 2021 to 2027. NGO groups CEE Bankwatch Network and Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe welcome the regulation, which exceeds the European Commission’s proposal by introducing new and additional safeguards against climate change.
On Tuesday, 22 January, Climate Case Ireland’s legal case hearing starts in the national High Court. The legal case, initiated by the Friends of Irish Environment, argues that the Government’s 2017 National Mitigation Plan is in violation of Ireland’s Climate Act 2015, the Constitution and human rights obligations and also falls far short of the Paris Agreement's requirements.
Today the European Parliament took a disappointing stance on climate when voting to approve the establishment of InvestEU, the EU’s financing tool to attract private investments – say NGO groups CEE Bankwatch Network, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, WWF European Policy Office, and Counter Balance. The approved investment package keeps the door open to further public investments in fossil fuels, which is incompatible with the requirements of the Paris Agreement.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report 2019 published today shows that the world’s business leaders perceive the failure to tackle climate change as the number two risk that the world faces over the next decade, both in terms of likelihood and impact.
In reaction to today’s Environment Council where EU ministers have for the first time discussed the EU’s draft climate long-term strategy put forward by the European Commission on 28 November, Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said:
Today the European Parliament, Commission and Council have taken a step in the right direction by agreeing to end coal subsidies by 2025, paving the way for a European-wide coal phase out. However the biggest polluters still got to buy some time despite the urgency of climate change. With only twelve years left to act to keep temperature rise below 1.5°C and thus avoid catastrophic impacts of climate change as highlighted in the latest IPCC report, every cent spent on coal will be costly for the climate as well as for European taxpayers.
As the COP24 climate summit comes to an end, it is clear that governments have failed to adequately respond to the catastrophic impacts of climate change that were highlighted in the landmark IPCC report on 1.5°C. Based on a now widely operational Paris Agreement the next two years need to be used to build far-reaching transformational partnerships and reach the level of ambition science makes clear is necessary.
As the COP24 climate summit draws to a close, negotiators are still struggling to agree on a significant commitment to strengthen all countries’ climate pledges by 2020.