Brussels – Climate activists hung a giant banner from a European Union building across the road from the Brussels venue where EU and UK leaders are meeting to discuss Brexit, reading: “BLAH BLAH BREXIT… STOP CLIMATE CHAOS!”

©Greenpeace/Eric de Mildt.

 

**High-quality photos and video available here**

With European greenhouse gas emissions on the rise and scientists warning that the window to avoid extreme climate chaos is closing fast, activists called on political leaders to treat the climate emergency with at least the same urgency and attention devoted to Brexit.

Greenpeace EU spokesperson Mark Breddy said: “Brexit is not the only emergency. European leaders can grant the UK an extension, but climate change won’t give us one. Climate change is already costing lives and scientists warn that things will get much worse unless governments act now. It’s time to take climate action off the back burner and start cutting emissions now. Holding an emergency EU climate summit would be a good first step.”

A new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) has revealed that extreme weather – in particular droughts and floods – has cost Europe nearly half a trillion euro and claimed the lives of over 115,000 people since 1980. The EEA attributes most of these impacts to climate change.

Greenpeace is calling on heads of government to bring EU climate action in line with science and ensure emissions start falling this year. They should start by holding an emergency climate summit as soon as possible to make sure this happens.

In September 2018, the world’s top climate scientists warned that global CO₂ emissions must be halved by 2030 before falling to net zero by 2050 at the latest, if the world is to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C. The world is currently on track for over 3°C of warming, which scientists say will bring catastrophic extreme weather, mass extinctions, crop failures, heatwaves and widespread flooding.

The EU’s current target to cut greenhouse gas by 40% by 2030 would condemn the world to severe climate breakdown. To be in line with the global 1.5°C objective, the EU needs to cut emissions by 65% by 2030. Greenpeace is also calling on the EU to adopt a binding target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

 

**High-quality photos and video available here**

 

Contacts:

Mark Breddy – Greenpeace EU spokesperson: +32 (0)496 15 62 29, mark.breddy@greenpeace.org

Greenpeace EU press desk:  +32 (0)2 274 19 11, 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.