The European Parliament has passed a resolution declaring an environmental and climate emergency in Europe and around the world.
In addition to approving the climate emergency resolution, Parliament members called on the European Commission to take stronger action on implementing policies enacting climate change mitigation, in order to keep the rate of global heating below 1.5°C. MEPs highlighted the aviation and shipping industries as key offenders in terms of producing carbon emissions and urged Member States to ensure that international aviation and shipping are included in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) emissions reports.
MEPs indicated that the EU must submit its official strategy for achieving net zero emissions as soon as possible; and called on Member States to at least double the contributions they make to the Green Climate Fund, an international fund aimed at supporting climate adaptability and resilience among developing countries. Current pledges to the fund by developed countries fall far short of the collective target of $100bn (€90.84bn) per year by 2020. Parliament advised Ursula von der Leyen, the incoming President of the European Commission, to adopt a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 in her proposed European Green Deal. MEPs also issued an ‘urgent’ call on Member States to phase out both direct and indirect subsidies for fossil fuels by 2020.
Pascal Canfin, Chair of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, said: “The European Parliament has just adopted an ambitious position in view of the upcoming COP 25 in Madrid. Given the climate and environmental emergency, it is essential to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 55% in 2030. It also sends a clear and timely message to the Commission a few weeks before the publication of the Communication on the Green Deal.”
EU representatives will attend the United Nations’ COP25 Conference on Climate Change in Madrid in December, where attendees will determine the next steps for addressing the climate emergency.