Civil society calls on the EU to ensure COP26 delivers on climate ambition

Global transition


GLASGOW, 9th November 2021 – COP26 must deliver on climate ambition and Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is calling on the EU to play a leading role in the final days of climate talks to deliver robust COP26 outcomes.

The EU is a key international player at the negotiations in Glasgow, with ministers from European countries co-leading seven out of eight negotiation streams along with other parties, a huge opportunity and responsibility to secure ambitious COP26 outcomes. Norway, Denmark and Switzerland will have a key role in closing the emissions gap to 1.5°C. In the hot seat for climate finance, adaptation and loss and damage are Luxembourg, Spain and Sweden.

COP26 is the moment for Europe to push for bold steps on closing the emissions gap to 1.5°C, reach a clear global commitment to phase out fossil fuels, achieve ambitious outcomes on climate finance, adaptation and loss and damage which must constitute a real package of support to vulnerable developing countries to face the climate crisis.  

For its own domestic climate ambition, there are enough scientific findings that show the EU should overshoot the 55% net emission reduction target and go for at least 65% by 2030.

The latest Climate Change Performance Index (1) released today places the European Union 22nd out of 60 countries monitored for their climate mitigation progress. This is a drop of six places (from 16 last year) and sees the EU surrender it’s ‘high performance’ status for a middle-of-the-road ranking with some European countries at the top of the ranking and others amongst the worst performers, the main cause of the downgrade in position. The EU must get its house in order and not only  provide sufficient and targeted support, but also improve accountability to ensure that national governments deliver concrete actions on the ground in line with the Paris Agreement goal.

We cannot afford a two-speed Europe when it comes to tackling dangerous climate change. Today’s Climate Change Performance Index, in which the EU has dropped in ranking from 16 to 22, is further evidence that the EU needs to walk the talk and show political will as well as concrete steps forward in drastic emission reductions. The EU has the opportunity and the responsibility to increase its climate ambition across the continent to ensure the global temperature rise is limited to the 1.5°C target.” said Chiara Martinelli, Climate Action Network Europe’s Director.

The EU is currently revising and updating its energy and climate laws, the “Fit for 55” legislative package, which is the perfect window of opportunity to get Europe on track with the Paris Agreement’s goal and cut emissions by at least 65% by 2030 within its borders. These cuts are possible and can be achieved through the roll out of renewable energy with energy saving measures and the phasing out of coal by 2030 and fossil gas by 2035 as well as halting all fossil fuel financing. 

Under the Paris Agreement rich countries have committed to delivering $100 billion annually from 2020-25 to developing countries. As the world’s largest climate finance contributor, the EU needs to set the direction of travel and get behind a strong outcome on adaptation finance, which would see rich countries deliver at least 50% of the $100 billion as adaptation finance, and agree to new and additional finance for losses and damages.

“As we stand now, we can see that there is Loss and Damage recognition. The Scottish Government has shown the path others can follow by pledging £1 million (1.2 million EUR) to support the victims of climate disaster. We have also seen other leaders mentioning Loss and Damage in their statements, but these statements will not help people recover their homes after another climate disaster. We need real financial pledges and new financing streams.” said Harjeet Singh, Senior Advisor on Climate Impacts at CAN International. 


Notes to editors

  1. The annual Climate Change Performance Index released today by Germanwatch and NewClimate Institute shows Europe no longer rates as ‘high performer’ and drops six places – to now rank 22nd – and is a “middle performer”. This index monitors climate mitigation progress of 60 countries. Scandinavian countries are leading the way in climate protection, together with the United Kingdom. Leaders: Denmark, Sweden and Norway occupy ranks four to six. However, four EU states are ‘very low’, the worst ranking: Hungary, Poland,the Czech Republic and Slovenia.




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