European Parliament calls for urgent climate action

Climate action

Debate held as major new report on the climate economy is launched and one week before the UN New York Climate Summit begins

Today Members of the European Parliament engaged in a debate on the urgency of climate change calling for increased European action. The debate was held just ahead of next week’s UN Climate Summit in New York [1]. Thirty-two parliamentarians from all the major political groups spoke, stressing the need for the EU to increase its climate action, and to take additional measures to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the short-term. European Council and Commission statements were given by Benedetto Della Vedova, Italian Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs and Connie Hedegaard, the current EU Commissioner for Climate Action.

MEPs called for the EU to increase investments in renewable energy and energy savings, to reform the ailing Emissions Trading Scheme, to scale up the provision of financial support for climate action in developing countries, and to adopt – at the October European Council – an ambitious emission reduction target for 2030, well beyond the proposed 40%. This call was supported by the findings of the newly released Better growth Better Climate – The New Climate Economy Report. [2]

Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe said:

“Today’s debate in the European Parliament is a welcome sign that the urgency to tackle climate change is high on the political agenda. We now need our leaders to act in a way that reflects this call during next week’s Climate Summit in New York.”


“The new UN report on the economics of climate change makes it clear that transforming to a low-carbon society will bring economic benefits. It is time for our leaders to stop listening to the big corporate polluters who want to defend their status quo, whatever the cost to society and future generations.”


[1] On 23 September, the UN Climate Summit 2014 will welcome more than 120 Heads of State and Government as well as leaders from business and civil society, to make specific commitments to reduce climate change and its impacts. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s aim is to increase political momentum and ambition for agreeing the new climate treaty at the Paris Climate Summit in December 2015. This year’s Summit will be preceded by a weekend of global action by people, civil society organisations and faith groups across the world. For more information see:

[2] Better Growth Better Climate – The New Climate Economy Report was released today by a Commission of global leaders. The report shows that governments and businesses can improve economic growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions together. Rapid technological innovation and new investment in infrastructure are making it possible today to tackle climate change at the same time as improving economic performance. For more information see:


Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe, wendel/at/, +32 473 17 08 87
Matthew Keys, Communications Manager, matthew/at/, +32 497 700 372


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