Brussels/Luxembourg – 15 European environment ministers have called on the EU to increase its targets to cut carbon emissions in line with the recommendations of UN climate scientists released on Monday.

Greenpeace East Asia activists unfurl a banner with the message ‘There is still hope. Climate Action Now!’ as the IPCC released its special report on 1.5 degrees Celsius in Incheon, Korea.

Greenpeace warned that a landmark report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) exposed the inadequacy of current European pledges to cut carbon emissions, just as the EU prepares to review its long-term climate strategy.

The EU has pledged to cut its carbon emissions by at least 40% by 2030. But the IPCC warned that the world must halve carbon emissions by 2030, before falling to net zero by mid-century at the latest, to limit global warming to 1.5°C and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Greenpeace EU climate and energy policy director Tara Connolly said: “Scientists are warning that our home planet is on fire and burning faster than we thought. Now most European governments are acknowledging that they can also see smoke. It’s a start, but the real question is how much Europe will do to actually put out the flames. A good start would be to ramp up the EU’s 2030 climate targets and commit to a carbon-neutral Europe by 2040”.

Several ministers voiced their support for an increase of the EU’s climate targets in a public session at a meeting of environment ministers in Luxembourg. They are Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Greece, Portugal, Finland, Cyprus, Denmark, Slovenia and Luxembourg.

The European Commission is expected to release its draft long-term climate strategy for 2050 on 28 November, just ahead of a UN climate conference that will take place in Katowice, Poland, in December 2018. EU governments are expected to agree on the final EU strategy in 2019.

***For more detailed information on the special IPCC report, please see this media briefing.

 

Contacts:

Tara Connolly – Greenpeace EU climate and energy policy director: +32 (0)477 790416, tara.connolly@greenpeace.org

Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911, pressdesk.eu@greenpeace.org

For breaking news and comment on EU affairs: www.twitter.com/GreenpeaceEU

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation 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.