Environment MEPs Specify CO2 Targets

28.09.2015 -

The European Parliament’s delegation to the COP 21 climate talks scheduled to be held in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec.11 must call for a 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, a 40% energy-efficiency target and a binding 30% target for renewable energy, the Parliament’s environment committee (ENVI) said in a resolution adopted by 55 votes to five, with eight abstentions.

Additionally, ENVI said, the EU's carbon market allowances should be earmarked for climate finance and the aviation and shipping sectors should initiate measures to curb their emissions by the end of 2016.

The resolution constitutes the mandate for the EP delegation to the COP 21 meeting. The full House will vote on the resolution on Oct. 14.

ENVI also has called for a “general reinvigoration of the EU’s climate policy” in line with the upper limit of the EU’s commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050. The MEPs also want EU member states to consider further commitments over and above the agreed 2030 target.

The committee said also that the 2015 protocol must be legally binding and seek to phase out global carbon emissions by 2050 or shortly thereafter in a bid to keep global warming below 2°C in a cost-effective way.

If this looks too ambitious, ENVI added, “work will have to start in 2016 to devise additional reduction measures.” The committee recommends that the parties to the COP 21 conference back five-year commitment periods in order to "avoid locking into low levels of ambition.”

"The stakes are huge. We must limit the global rise in temperature to 2°C if we are to curb climate change and the resulting catastrophic droughts, floods and food crises. These natural disasters are behind an exponential growth of climate refugees who could number as many as 200 million in the coming years – even more than the number of war refugees,” said the resolution’s author, Gilles Parneaux of the group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.