New York Climate Summit: EU should aim higher on climate and energy targets

Press release - September 23, 2014
Brussels --- The first leader addressing the special Climate Summit in New York today, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, announced that the EU plans to adopt 2030 climate and energy targets by October.

During a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ahead of the climate summit, a Greenpeace delegation delivered the organisation’s demands along with 6 million ocean water drops, representing the signatures of Save the Arctic supporters.

Joris den Blanken, Greenpeace EU climate policy director said: “This Ban Ki-moon summit is an opportunity for leaders from around the world to set the stage for a global climate agreement in Paris next year. The commitment to seal a deal on 2030 climate and energy targets by next month would make the EU the first big player to adopt binding objectives for beyond 2020. But given Europe’s untapped potential for renewable energy and energy efficiency, aiming for just a 40 percent domestic carbon emission target would be a missed opportunity for Europe, and an unfair contribution to the global effort."

Europe must, and can do better. This October, EU leaders must increase the ambition of the EU climate and energy targets, especially now that China and the United States are cutting back on coal and are putting in place concrete emission policies.

More than 140 leaders from all over the world gathered in New York today on invitation by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to announce bold actions to hold climate warming within safe levels.

Greenpeace is asking EU leaders for the following commitments (1):

•      The EU should adopt a strong and forward-looking EU 2030 climate and energy policy, delivering 55 percent domestic greenhouse gas emission reductions against 1990 levels, and an equivalent interim target for 2025.

•      As part of its 2030 policy package, the EU should aim for a share of 45 percent renewable energy in its energy mix and a 40 percent reduction in energy demand, compared to 2005.

•      In order to swiftly phase out coal, Europe should reform its ailing carbon market and regulate power plant emissions.


For information, contact:

Joris den Blanken, Greenpeace EU climate policy director, +32 (0)2 274 19 19,

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


Notes to Editors:

(1) At international level, Greenpeace has been calling on members of the United Nations to make the following contributions to the global climate efforts:

  • The United States must do much more domestically to decrease emissions from coal-fired power plants. Greenpeace’s Energy Revolution scenario shows emissions reductions could be four times greater than the current EPA proposal.
  • China should announce a strong commitment to further steer its energy mix away from coal; elaborate on the contours of China’s post-2020 climate package and set an ambitious peak emissions target much earlier than 2030.
  • Countries must support a long term global goal of a just transition to 100% renewable energy by mid-century while phasing out fossil fuels, especially coal; and ending our reliance on nuclear power.
  • Countries with the capacity must collectively pledge $15 billion USD by 2015 in total to the Green Climate Fund and propose pathways how to fulfil their commitment to increase this amount to $100 billion by 2020.