Brussels, 17th June 2019, for immediate release
Feeling the pressure from the public, and in particular from young people, EU governments are getting closer to reaching an agreement on achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and on raising the EU’s 2030 climate target . With only a few Central European governments still on the fence , the decision can be made already at the upcoming EU Heads of State and Government meeting in Brussels on 20-21 June.
Today, a new report by Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe and Sandbag reveals Member States are receiving EU energy transition support but not committing to phase-out coal. The draft National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) of 21 EU Member States which still use coal for electricity generation show that only eight are committed to phasing out coal by 2030. Yet, Member States with no plans to move away from coal are benefiting from various EU schemes intended to support the energy transition away from coal. Still, Member States are asking for more energy transition funding, - finds a new report entitled pdf “Just transition or just talk?” (3.20 MB)
As a result of the European elections concluded yesterday, the two traditional major parties of the social democrats and conservatives will no longer have a majority in the European Parliament. However, given the large support from voters for parties that have put climate action forward as a priority, there is a large majority of parties that now need to put climate action first and work together to tackle the climate emergency.
Thanks to hundreds of thousands of young people protesting across European cities over the last months against the lack of adequate action to confront the climate emergency, climate change for the first time tops the agenda of the European election campaign. This has put pressure on more conservative politicians to finally acknowledge the need for climate action in their election campaigns.
The European General Court dismissed the People’s Climate Case on procedural grounds stating that the families and youth impacted by climate change do not have a right to go to court to challenge the EU’s 2030 climate target. However, in its decision, the Court recognised that climate change affects all Europeans in many different ways. Families and the Saami youth who initiated the case plan to appeal to the European Court of Justice.
As the Future of Europe summit in Sibiu, Romania, comes to an end, it is clear that EU leaders failed to respond to the growing public unrest and commit to make climate change the EU’s top priority. This is despite the momentum created by statements from eight EU Member States and a broad coalition of European stakeholders determined to push for more decisive climate action.
In 2018, carbon emissions across the EU decreased by 2.5% compared to the year before, according to the preliminary data published by Eurostat today.
On the eve of the Future of Europe Summit on 9 May, governments representing eight EU Member States called for putting climate action at the centre of future EU cooperation and for substantially increasing the EU’s efforts to combat climate change.
In an unprecedented Climate Action Call published today, a broad coalition is urging European leaders to take decisive action to respond to the climate emergency. Hundreds of European cities, regions, businesses, youth and faith groups and civil society organisations working on climate, human rights, litigation, mobilization, sports and health call upon leaders to profoundly alter the way we run our societies and economies to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.
Today, the UK Parliament voted to declare a “climate emergency” and became the first in Europe to clearly underline the urgency to address climate change. The vote in the House of Commons came as an answer to wide-spread citizen mobilisations in the UK which urged decision makers to step up climate action in an unprecedented way.