Climate change blueprint: EU plans to cut CO2

climate change blueprint
© iStock/jotily

The European Parliament adopted a resolution yesterday laying out the blueprint for the EU’s long term emissions reduction strategy.

MEPs expressed support for the young people participating in today’s Global Climate Strike for Future, demonstrating to raise awareness of climate change: Greta Thunberg, the 15-year-old climate activist who founded the Youth Strike For Climate campaign, was nominated this week for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in inspiring the worldwide movement of young people taking action to draw the attention of policymakers to the growing issue. The resolution emphasised that the EU must adopt more ambitious targets for decarbonisation and emissions reduction in order to achieve net zero levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The resolution recommended the establishment of a “just transition fund” to smooth the transition to renewable fuel sources in areas most dependent on the fossil fuel industry, such as coal mining regions; and highlighted the job creation potential of long term emissions reduction across the EU. If the climate change blueprint is implemented appropriately and with sufficient provision for vulnerable areas, MEPs said, 2.1 million new jobs will be created in the EU by 2050.

Among the priorities recommended to best implement the EU’s climate change strategy, MEPs particularly highlighted the need to focus on direct emissions reduction solutions and boosting natural carbon sinks; rather than carbon removal technology, which remains untested on a large scale and carries potential attendant environmental risks. The resolution also restated Parliament’s goal of allocating at least 35 per cent of Horizon Europe research funding to the development of climate change solutions.

Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, said in response to the resolution: “The vote shows that a wave of youth-led climate protests starts to make politicians get serious about fighting climate change. By calling for higher climate targets, parliamentarians demonstrated that they listen to the people and understand the dangers that climate change poses to everyone’s well-being. Still, what the Parliament is calling for should only be the floor and not the ceiling of enhanced actions. More is needed to bring European efforts closer to what is required for limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C.”

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