15 EU environment ministers called today for increasing the EU’s climate target to limit warming to 1.5°C. The other ministers did not support such a commitment, turning their backs on the landmark IPCC report published yesterday.
In a draft long-term EU climate strategy leaked by the media today, the European Commission proposes three options for the EU’s long-term target: 80% emission reductions by 2050, reaching net zero emissions by 2070 and reaching net zero emissions by 2050.
None of these targets reflect the urgency of action to keep temperature rise to 1.5°C enshrined in the IPCC report published earlier today.
One day ahead of the EU Environment Ministers meeting expected to adopt the EU’s position for the upcoming UN Climate Summit COP24, the world’s leading body of climate scientists gave strong scientific evidence for the need to keep temperature rise to 1.5°C. The new IPCC report, ordered and endorsed by all world’s governments, showed that many of the dire consequences of future warming can be avoided by respecting this limit. It also confirmed that it is still possible, but requires a rapid and far-reaching shift across all sectors of the economy.
Audio recording of the press briefing on the IPCC report with Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Wendel Trio and Claire Roumet organized by CAN Europe on 8th October 2018 is available here
Polish utility Enea gave today the green light to build the new coal power plant ‘Ostrołęka C’, despite the unprofitability of the project and protests of environmental groups. Poland plans to use capacity mechanisms to make up for the projected economic loss, a stunning example of why reformed EU capacity mechanisms must stop benefiting dirty and costly forms of energy.
Today, CAN Europe, has applied to the European General Court to intervene in the People’s Climate Case - a case in which families and youth have challenged the EU in order to protect their fundamental rights from the insufficiency of the EU's 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction target. Through this intervention, CAN Europe aims to increase the pressure on the EU to live up to its Paris Agreement responsibilities.
During a General Affairs Council meeting today, EU ministers exchanged their views on the long term EU budget for the period 2021-2027. While they focussed on the size of future EU funding in view of traditional policies such as the Common Agricultural Policy and Cohesion Policy and of new priorities like migration, they missed out to address current flaws to ensure a fully climate-friendly budget for the EU.
Reacting to the State of the European Union speech given by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker today, Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said:
Tomorrow’s State of the European Union address is a perfect opportunity for European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to reveal the progress so far in the development of the new EU long-term climate strategy. Stating his support for reducing emissions to net zero at the latest by 2050 and keeping temperature rise to 1.5C would be an appropriate and timely response to the unprecedented heat waves and forest fires that we have witnessed over the summer and the multiple calls from non-state actors, Member States and the European Parliament to scale up the EU’s climate action.
Ahead of the next trilogue on the Electricity Market Design on 11 September, France, UK, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Ireland and Poland have just issued joint comments on the new rules regarding capacity mechanisms, which stand in stark contradiction to their commitment to fully implement the Paris Agreement.
In May 2018 families from Portugal, Germany, France, Italy, Romania, Kenya, Fiji and the Swedish Saami Youth Association Sáminuorra sued the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union for the inadequate climate target for 2030. The lawsuit claims that the Union’s climate target fails to protect their human rights.