COP 25: EU leaders are missing the Paris Agreement deadline

Global transition

The UN Climate Change Conference COP25 in Madrid started with a big push from the least developed countries and the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to increase countries’ 2030 climate pledges. In the first High Level session of COP 25, countries were expected to present plans to increase ambition by 2020, the deadline set by the Paris Agreement to deliver more ambitious plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

However, both Charles Michel, the new President of the European Council and Ursula von der Leyen, the new President of the European Commission, failed to promise urgent actions to tackle the climate crisis. Both EU leaders referred to carbon neutrality by 2050 under the European Green Deal and failed to promise a substantial increase of the EU’s 2030 climate target in line with the Paris Agreement timeline.  

Wendel Trio, director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said:

“Current EU leaders are the last generation that can make the Paris Agreement a reality and prevent the climate breakdown. We need them to act in line with the “Climate Emergency” state that we are in. You can’t simply say that our house is on fire and then wait for another 30 years to extinguish. The Paris Agreement requires all countries to increase their 2030 climate pledges by 2020. The EU must propose a substantially increased 2030 climate target in early 2020 to turn the Paris Agreement into a reality and pave the way for other countries.

The idea that the Commission could propose a new target only in October 2020, thereby making it impossible for the EU to come with an agreed 2030 target to COP26 would undermine the process, make the Paris targets unattainable and would be completely unacceptable.”

The European Commission is expected to present the programme of the European Green Deal on 11 December 2019. The European Parliament calls the Commission  to include a 55% reduction target of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in the European Green Deal. An important number of Member States support raising the EU’s climate target to 55% emissions cuts compared to 1990 levels.

CAN Europe calls the European Commission to include a proposal to increase the 2030 climate target within its first 100 days in office. It needs to include a target of 65% emission cuts, which is in line with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement.



Goksen Sahin, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator,, +32 468 45 39 20

CAN Europe COP25 media advisory here

Photo story ‘Faces of the Climate Fight” portaying climate activists here

Print quality images can be downloaded from here

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s leading NGO coalition fighting dangerous climate change. With over 160 member organisations from 35 European countries, representing over 1.700 NGOs and more than 47 million citizens, CAN Europe promotes sustainable climate, energy and development policies throughout Europe.


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