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.
With the adoption of the Paris Agreement, 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 global stocktakes set in the Paris Agreement will take place every five years. They are important joint global moments to assess the adequacy of countries’ joint and individual action toward the long term goals of the Paris Agreement. Following these UNFCCC stocktakes all countries are required to set their new greenhouse gas reduction targets for the next five year period.
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 by mid-century requires that in the EU most sectors will be fully decarbonised within the next couple of decades, and for the EU to reach net zero greenhouse gas target latest by 2040. Most importantly the EU needs to radically reduce emissions in the short term by 2025 and 2030 as well as set timelines for fully phasing out the use of coal, gas and oil.
Countries’ current climate targets (NDCs) are inadequate and lead to dangerous warming of more than 3°C.
As countries’ current climate targets (NDCs) are inadequate and lead to dangerous warming of more than 3°C, it is therefore critical that all countries improve their respective 2030 mitigation targets. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC) outlined in its Special Report on 1.5°C that current global CO2 emissions need to be halved by 2030 to have a chance of keeping temperature rise at 1.5°C. Countries at the UNFCCC have jointly set a deadline for revised 2030 targets to year 2020, and again further increase in 2025.
For the European climate and energy policies to be consistent with the Paris Agreement, the EU needs to adopt a greenhouse gas reduction target of at least -65%, and revise all the related implementing legislation to speed the near term emission reductions across the EU economy. In addition to the urgent domestic emission reductions that the EU is required to do at home, the EU has a responsibility to help other countries financially to reduce their emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
CAN Europe has been working on the UN climate negotiations for more than 25 years and continues to engage actively and in cooperation with CAN International and other regional CAN nodes in the UNFCCC process.
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