A coalition of European businesses, investors, public authorities and civil organisations has called on EU leaders to be more ambitious in addressing climate change.
The Coalition for Higher Ambition has written an open letter to the EU heads of state and government, as well as the European Commission, urging stricter and more wide-ranging targets to reduce emissions and mitigate the threat of rising global temperatures. The EU leaders have attended a summit yesterday and today; but the primary focus has been on Brexit negotiations with UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
The coalition believes the summit should have attached greater priority to the ongoing climate change crisis. Wendel Trio, director of Climate Action Network Europe, said: “This position shows that EU leaders are out of touch with climate science and with their citizens. They fail to recognise that our current targets would only allow to keep temperature rise to 3°C, which would threaten life on Earth as we know it.”
Last week the European Parliament agreed on a climate change blueprint to raise the EU’s emissions reduction target to 55 per cent reduction from 1990 levels by 2030; and the bloc aims to have reached net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Meanwhile young people around the world have been taking part in regular “school strikes”, demonstrating to raise awareness of climate change as a pressing issue.
The coalition’s letter to the EU leaders said: “Representing stakeholders from across sectors and across Europe, we believe it is high time for European leaders to rise up to the challenge of climate action. We need Europe to transition to a sustainable society and economy as soon as possible. Member states can count that our organisations, businesses, cities, regions, and trade unions will continue leading the transition to a zero-carbon Europe. We count on your leadership and determination to ensure a safer future for European citizens.”