Brussels, 1 June – The EU and China’s renewed commitment to fighting climate change must be backed up by a decisive shift to renewable energy, said Greenpeace. The EU-China joint statement comes amid reports of an imminent US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Ansgar Kiene, climate and energy campaigner at Greenpeace EU, said: “There is a real opportunity for the technical prowess of both EU and China to shine as they switch from dirty power stations to wind and solar. With more than 1.1 million people employed in the renewables sector in the EU and more than 3.5 million in China, both are leagues ahead of the US. But the real game-changer is in unlocking the potential of citizens producing, investing in and consuming renewable energy smartly.”
Li Shuo, climate policy advisor at Greenpeace East Asia, said: “We are seeing much needed leadership emerge from the EU and China today; the will to take responsibility for climate action irrespective of Trump’s fickle stance. But both Beijing and Brussels now have to follow words with action to reap tangible benefits, as well as bragging rights, from a speedy transition to renewable energy.”
The statement is expected to highlight the social and economic benefits of climate action and gives details on how the EU and China will move ahead under the UN climate convention (UNFCCC) process. This includes a call on all countries to “strengthen efforts over time”. For the EU this should mean setting more ambitious emissions, renewables and efficiency targets and prioritising access and support for renewables. The European Parliament recently called for an increase in the EU’s 2030 renewable target to between 35 and 45 per cent, compared to the current 27 per cent target. With the right support, half of all EU citizens could produce their own electricity by 2050, meeting 45 per cent of the EU’s electricity demand.
For recent employment figures in the renewables sector see the annual review of the International Renewable Energy Agency.
Ansgar Kiene, Greenpeace EU climate and energy campaigner: +32 (0)2 274 1919, email@example.com
Li Shuo, senior global policy advisor (climate & ocean) Greenpeace East Asia:
(86) 152-0168-1548, firstname.lastname@example.org
Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911, email@example.com
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.