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EU needs new pledge on the table to push international climate action forward

 

Environment Ministers' call for climate pledges in 2014 rings hollow without increased EU ambition

[Brussels, 14 October 2013] - Today EU Environment Ministers set the stage for the EU to play a steering role in pushing an international climate deal forward. History has shown that arriving at the COP [1] with clear, coherent positions is one of the best ways the EU can positively impact these negotiations.


  “The EU’s proposal for 2014 as the deadline for countries to put new climate targets on the table is a good one,” said Ulriikka Aarnio of CAN Europe. “However, ministers did not make any reference to raising the EU’s near-term target. While the EU is calling on others to increase action, it has already more than achieved its current 20% emissions reduction target for 2020, yet still refuses to revise its position.  Increasing domestic action is crucial to securing the allies the EU needs to get other countries on board time for an ambitious, binding deal in Paris in 2015.”

Read more: EU needs new pledge on the table to push international climate action forward

New climate report outlines clear choices for Europe

New climate report outlines clear choices for Europe

Business-as-usual to bring more floods and heatwaves;
Safe path requires immediate emission reductions


 

[Stockholm, Brussels, 27 September 2013] – Today's report from the IPCC [1] sets out some stark choices. Scientists are confident that business as usual will bring more deadly heat waves and floods to Europe and seas will rise and acidify further, in turn causing spikes in food prices, food shortages and malnutrition. However, they are certain that there is a clear pathway for avoiding catastrophic climate change, achievable by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions significantly in the next few years as we move toward a zero carbon future.

"The debate about responsibility for climate change is over," said Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network Europe. "Scientists are more certain than ever that humans are causing climate change but fortunately, equally certain that we still have the time and means to fix it. What we need now is for all 28 EU delegates that signed off on this report to take this mandate back to their capitals and urge their governments to take immediate climate action."

For the first time, the IPCC provides a global budget for CO2, which we cannot exceed if we are to prevent devastating levels of global warming. Since the report shows we have already blown through half our carbon budget, we must start reducing carbon emissions immediately.

Unfortunately, the EU's climate ambition has not moved in the past five years and will do nothing to stop us crashing through our global carbon budget. The EU should immediately increase its greenhouse gas reduction target to 40% by 2020 and set three strong, binding targets for renewables, energy savings as well as greenhouse gas emission reductions for 2030 and beyond.

"We don't want to see another comprehensive report on the grim realities of climate change gathering dust on politicians' bookshelves while impacts mount," Trio concluded. "The risk of catastrophic effects from malnutrition, food conflicts, wildfires, floods and extinctions is too great to impose upon the people and nature of Europe."

 

 NOTES:

[1] The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release the first installment of its Fifth Assessment Report, Working Group I - Science, on Monday. Today the IPCC released the Summary for Policy Makers, which was negotiated line by line by governmental delegates this week in Stockholm.
Hi res photos of the NGO boat action in Stockholm, right, available on demand

http://www.flickr.com/photos/101564557@N06/9934985465/sizes/l/in/photostream/

image of boat and banner outside of IPCC meeting in Stockholm

CONTACTS:

Vanessa Bulkacz, CAN Europe Communications Manager (in Stockholm): +32 494 525 738, vanessa/at/caneurope.org


Wendel Trio, CAN Europe Director (in Brussels): +32 473 170 887, wendel/at/caneurope.org

 

 

IPCC NGO events: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report.

Wednesday 25th September - 2-6pm - Climate Action on the Water
The schooner, Constantina, will sail in the Riddarfjärden, the waters close to the IPCC meeting venue at Torkel Knutssonsgatan 2, Stockholm from 2-6pm. Festooned with messages calling on governments to act now on climate change, the ship will provide a great reminder of what the science shows us is at stake and will be visible to delegates at the IPCC venue. Depending on the weather, the schooner may dock at the IPCC venue to give media the opportunity to shoot pictures.
Contact: Vanessa Bulkacz, Climate Action Network Europe, vanessa /at/ caneurope.org, +32 494 525 738.

Friday 27th September - around 11am- The Climate Scream
The loudest public campaign of the year will take place as the IPCC press conference ends. Hundreds of concerned Nordic youth will gather to scream out their anger and frustration about politicians refusing to take climate change seriously.
Location: Münchenbryggeriet, The Brewery Conference Centre, Torkel Knutssonsgatan 2, Stockholm.
Contact: Olivia Linander, PUSH Sweden, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , +46 73 822 69 06.
Website: www.klimatskriket.wordpress.com
Promotional film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CrSGG2H2Zc
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/475729462482122/

Saturday 28th September - 4.30pm-7pm - The Big Climate March
Hundreds of people will gather and march the streets of Stockholm to show politicians that the public is angry and upset with their inability to act according to what the science demands when it comes to one of the biggest global challenges of our time.
The march will move off from Norra Bantorget at 4.30pm and will arrive at Sergels Torg at 5.30pm where speeches will be heard (ideal location for visuals).
Contact: Olivia Linander, PUSH Sweden, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , +46 73 822 69 06.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/624731580872085/

 

More information: http://us6.campaign-archive1.com/?u=5daa884f612c9e7758db6fad2&id=19acd52493

 

 

European Parliament compromises on ETS reform but it’s not enough to save the climate

Today the European Parliament adopted a compromise to revive the EU's flagging carbon market, the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). With carbon prices already at all-time lows, Member States now need to put the right price on pollution by strengthening today's result.

"The European Parliament has done the minimum to rescue the ETS from redundancy. Member states should back further measures to eliminate these toxic tonnes permanently from the EU's carbon market."

Sam Van den plas of WWF European Policy Office.

Parliament rejected provisions that would immediately reintroduce all back-loaded allowances, and provide exemptions and subsidies to heavy industry that assume far higher carbon prices than are seen in reality.

"Today the European Parliament used its second chance to get back-loading right. "By approving back-loading and rejecting several dangerous loopholes that had been proposed as part of a compromise, they've paved the way for the necessary deep reform of the EU ETS. Member States must start to negotiate the final outcome as soon as possible - we have lost enough time already."

Julia Michalak, CAN Europe Policy Officer

CAN Europe and WWF call on EU policy makers to come up with robust proposals to increase EU climate action.

Read more: European Parliament compromises on ETS reform but it’s not enough to save the climate

EU must follow suit as US announces plans to reduce pollution from coal

In order to define the actions necessary to keep his inauguration promise to tackle climate change, US President Obama will today announce plans to complete carbon pollution standards for both new and existing coal-fired power plants. He is also expected to announce an end to government support for new coal power plants overseas. The climate ball is now in the EU's court.

"Today the US administration announces its plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the single largest source in the country - coal power plants.The EU must follow suit. In recent years, we have seen a marked increase in the amount of electricity generated from coal in the EU, which is the opposite of the trend we need to see to have any chance of addressing the climate crisis." [1]

Kathrin Gutmann, Coal Policy Officer at CAN Europe.

Measures the EU must implement to reduce and eventually eliminate emissions from coal -fired power plants include structural reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) to help stimulate a substantially higher price of carbon to de-incentivise the use of coal. In addition, proper implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive, including closing loopholes that provide exceptions for outdated and highly polluting coal power plants, must be prioritized to protect both the climate and human health.

"Europe can no longer hide behind the excuse of a lack of climate action elsewhere. It must increase its efforts to bring an end to carbon and air pollution, starting with phasing out all coal power plants," Gutmann concluded.

NOTES

[1] http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php/Coal_consumption_statistics

Parliament lead Committee gives unclear support to ailing EU carbon market

[Brussels, Belgium] European NGOs WWF and CAN Europe today cautiously welcomed the European Parliament Environment Committee's support for the proposal to temporarily curb the oversupply of emission allowances in the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS), a process known as "backloading". However both regret that the Parliament included measures to weaken this support in its position.
The backloading proposal will go some way toward mitigating the severe problems faced by the EU's carbon market, but deeper reform of the ETS is urgently needed.

EU climate policy officer for WWF, Sam Van den plas, said:"Today the ailing EU carbon market was given emergency treatment, as a temporary first step towards structural reforms of the carbon market. Parliament must ensure that it does not let the air out of the ambulance's tires now. Handing out more blank cheques to energy intensive industries is unnecessary and irresponsible."

In today's vote, a set of compromise amendments gained cross-party support, reconfirming the EU Commission's mandate for a one-off intervention in the carbon market. However, the amendments also contain provisions for a dedicated fund to compensate energy intensive industries, as well as a more generous definition for the sectors at risk of carbon leakage. NGOs warn these additional amendments introduce excessive loopholes and could unnecessarily complicate further negotiations with EU Member States and the Commission.

Julia Michalak, CAN Europe climate policy officer, said:"MEPs are trying to have their cake and eat it too. The backloading compromise adopted today is nothing like the proposal made by the Commission last summer. Backloading is now as full of holes as a Swiss cheese."

CAN Europe and WWF now call on the full European Parliament and EU governments to swiftly support both the ETS backloading proposal while closing loopholes for energy intensive industry, and to adopt structural reform measures to ensure the ETS can stimulate innovation, create good jobs and move us off increasingly costly and unsustainable fossil fuels.

- Ends -

Media contact

   Matthew Keys
   Communications Manager
   Direct line: +32 2894 4673
   Email: matthew/at/caneurope.org

@CANEurope Latest Tweets

CANEurope Early this morning at #EUCO: EU leaders agreed weak and compromised #climate and energy targets. Our reaction http://t.co/FXB3bEese0 #EU2030
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CANEurope @CANEurope reaction to #EUCO: EU leaders agree on weak and compromised #climate and energy targets. http://t.co/FXB3bEese0 #EU2030
CANEurope Continuation of free CO2 permits for Poland system would be a grave mistake: The Guardian, http://t.co/xhjjsGWgxy #EUCO #EU2030 #climate #PC

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