Europe - more climate talk than walk

Activists entered a heavily guarded EU summit to tell European leaders to boost their climate commitments to save a climate summit in Copenhagen.

The EU likes to present its climate policies as a model for global green development. In fact, its current target - to reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2020 against 1990 levels - is shamefully unambitious and fails to provide an incentive for action or technological innovation. Having made over 17 percent reductions by 2009, the EU has years to make just a few percent reductions, a target it will meet under a business as usual scenario.

Greenpeace is calling on the EU to increase its domestic climate target to 30 percent as a first step. There are strong environmental and economic arguments for doing so. A study by Oxford and Sorbonne Universities, among others, found that a 30 percent target could create a net six million new European jobs by 2020. Shifting away from fossil fuels will help shield Europe’s economies from ever unstable fuel prices. These are among the reasons why Unilever, Philips, Google and Axa are among nearly 100 major companies now calling on EU governments to support a 30 percent climate target.

Less developed parts of the EU, particularly Central and Eastern Europe, can unlock significant investments in carbon reduction and energy modernisation under a 30 percent climate target. To achieve this, the EU should create financial mechanisms for this region to mobilise private investment in, for example, buildings renovation, industrial energy efficiency and energy infrastructure programmes. This would deliver fuel cost savings, energy security and new jobs.

Greenpeace advocates strengthening the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, which threatens to worsen rather than resolve Europe’s emissions. The EU should auction rather than give out free emission allowances, working within the market system to efficiently reduce the cost of climate action, maximise benefits and eliminate windfall profits. The scheme could and should be a driver for domestic emission reductions, geared to a 30 percent climate target. Any ‘carbon offset’ projects should be subject to strict criteria to guarantee real emissions cuts.

Internationally, the EU should be at the heart of a coalition to deliver a new international climate regime in the next years. This requires effective cooperation with progressive industrialised countries and emerging economies within and beyond the UN climate negotiations.

 

EU leadership could deliver headlines we would all be proud about

The latest updates

 

Greenpeace response to French president Hollande comments on TTIP

Press release | May 3, 2016 at 15:30

Brussels – In response to comments by French president François Hollande and European politicians following the release of confidential TTIP documents, Greenpeace EU director Jorgo Riss said:

TTIP leaks update: Greenpeace response to Commission statements

Press release | May 2, 2016 at 17:35

Brussels, 2 May 2016 – In response to the European Commission’s statements on the TTIP leaks and a blog post by EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström, Greenpeace EU director Jorgo Riss said:

Leaked TTIP documents released

Press release | May 2, 2016 at 11:51

Greenpeace EU press briefing – 14:30 – Residence Palace, Brussels Brussels, 2 May 2016 – Today Greenpeace Netherlands released secret documents from the EU-US TTIP negotiations, which is publicly available at www.ttip-leaks.org from 11:00...

#TTIPleaks: confidential TTIP papers unveil US position

Press release | May 1, 2016 at 19:00

Brussels, 1 May 2016 – Greenpeace Netherlands has obtained 248 pages of leaked Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiating texts [1], which will be published on Monday 2 May at 11:00 CET. The documents unveil for the first...

Chernobyl's children of hope

Blog entry by Andrey Allakhverdov | April 26, 2016

The word nadeshda means hope in Russian. The Nadesha rehabilitation centre was founded to give hope to children living in towns and villages contaminated by the Chernobyl disaster. Thousands of children across Belarus have...

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