Climate change is a global challenge as emissions anywhere affect people everywhere. To respond to the climate crisis a rapid decarbonisation of our economies across the world is required. This is why internationally coordinated cooperation is needed. This is done under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the UNFCCC.
The UNFCCC COP21 Summit in Paris in December 2015 delivered the long sought outcomes for international climate action. For the first time in history all countries agreed to take drastic action to protect the planet from climate change, to jointly pursue efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C, and to rapidly reduce emissions towards net zero in the second half of the century. In addition, the Paris Agreement created a framework for global climate policy by providing common rules for transparency and accountability, and the requirements for regular 5-year revision of countries’ targets and commitments.
The EU’s current climate ambition is not consistent with the Paris Agreement.
The requirement adopted in the Paris Agreement to pursue efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5°C demands a reassessment of the EU’s climate and energy policies, and an increase in action by all sectors. Reduction of global emissions to net zero during the second half of the century requires most sectors in the EU to achieve zero emissions within the next couple of decades. Most urgently the EU should adopt timelines for fully phasing out the use of coal, gas and oil.
As countries’ current climate targerts (INDCs) are inadequate and lead to dangerous warming of more than 3°C, it is therefore critical that all countries improve their respective mitigation targets as soon as possible, to be ready by 2018 when the UNFCCC stocktake takes place. For the European climate and energy policies to be consistent with the Paris Agreement, the EU’s targets currently foreseen for 2030 must be revised upwards. The best opportunity for the EU to do this is within the legislative processes on the 2030 climate and energy package.
CAN Europe has been working on the UN climate negotiations for more than 20 years and continues to engage actively and in cooperation with CAN International and other regional CAN nodes in the UNFCCC process.