EU must not waste second shot to come good on climate change, Greenpeace

Press release - March 22, 2018
Brussels - Heads of government meeting in Brussels have asked the European Commission to review the European Union’s efforts on climate change in view of pledges made under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

The request comes as new research by the International Energy Agency showed an increase in EU carbon emissions for the second year in a row in 2017, and as the growth of renewable energy in Europe has slowed significantly.

Reacting to the news, Greenpeace EU climate and energy policy adviser Tara Connolly said: “Governments are effectively admitting that Europe’s climate change policy needs a reality check. This is good news, but real change needs more than just words. To be a climate leader, Europe must act fast, ditch fossil fuels and fully embrace renewables and energy efficiency.”

The EU’s current target to cut carbon emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels) is based on efforts to limit global warming to 2°C. But scientists and environmentalists have warned that the EU target falls short. The Paris Agreement commits the EU to determine its emissions target based on a more ambitious objective to limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C.

The leaders have given the Commission a year to draft a plan on how EU countries can meet their obligations under the global climate deal.

The statement released in Brussels on Thursday evening reads: “The European Council invites the Commission to present by the first quarter of 2019 a proposal for a Strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions reduction in accordance with the Paris Agreement, taking into account the national plans.”


Contact: Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911,


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Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning network that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties.