EU commitment to Paris Agreement needs substance

Climate action

EU heads of state and government meeting in Brussels on 22-23 June are expected to express their support to the full implementation of the Paris Agreement. Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe welcomes the dedication shown by the EU, but urges leaders to translate their words into action by calling for deeper emission cuts than currently foreseen and providing more support to climate action in developing countries.

Ahead of the European Council meeting on 22-23 June, Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said:

“Full implementation of the Paris Agreement includes revising the EU’s reduction target for 2030, as this was part of the deal made in Paris. We will miss the goals of the Paris Agreement by a mile, if we do not increase our 2030 and 2050 targets.

We support the EU taking a leadership role in the fight against climate change. But with leadership comes responsibility. EU leaders need to show they can take that responsibility, recognize the EU’s emissions gap and start the work to revise the EU’s contribution to the Paris Agreement”.

Full implementation of the Paris Agreement means raising the EU target well beyond reducing emissions by at least 40% in 2030 compared to 1990:

In Paris countries committed to staying “well” below 2°C, while pursuing efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C. Also in Paris, countries recognized that the contributions they had prepared for the Paris negotiations, which included the EU’s pledge to reduce emissions by at least 40%, would lead to global emissions of at least 55 GtCO2-e by 2030. At the same time, the absolute maximum level of emissions for staying below 2°C would be 40 GtCO2-e.

To close this emissions gap, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) called upon all countries to reduce their 2030 emissions by at least another 25%.

Voices supporting more decisive action are gaining strength:

The Nordic ministers of five EU member states published a joint statement urging the EU to consider increasing ambition following the UN climate summit in 2018. Germany and France are reportedly advocating for increasing the EU’s efforts to fight climate change. These developments add momentum for more climate action and need to be translated into commitments from the whole European Council. As Hilda Heine, President of the Marshall Islands explained in the European Parliament last Wednesday, the full implementation of the Paris Agreement means that the current 2030 pledges need to be revised and increased.

More support to climate action in developing countries needed:

The EU also needs to step up its efforts to meet the climate finance goals of the Paris Agreement. There is an urgent need to mobilize more resources towards reaching the goal to provide USD 100bn per year by 2020 to the vulnerable developing countries. In particular, the EU must significantly increase public funding for adaptation before 2020.



Wendel Trio, CAN Europe Director,, +32 473 170 887

Ania Drazkiewicz, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator,, +32 494 525 738


CAN Europe’s letter ahead of the European Council on 22-23 June:

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 130 member organisations in more than 30 European countries – representing over 44 million citizens – CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable climate and energy policy in Europe.