Letter to Juncker and Tusk on the 2016 G20 Summit

Global transition

CAN Europe sent the following letter to European Commission President Juncker & European Council President Tusk and CC: EU-28 Heads of State & Government ahead of the 2016 G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China. 

Dear Presidents Juncker & Tusk,

In 2015, the world took a historic step in the fight to tackle climate change. In adopting the Paris Agreement, governments jointly committed to pursuing efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5ºC above preindustrial levels. The need to take action is more urgent than ever.

G20 leadership on climate change is crucial. Enhancing international progress to phase out fossil fuel subsidies represents a critical aspect to G20 climate leadership. While we welcome the G7 commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2025, we re-iterate that the EU has pledged to phase out environmentally harmful subsidies – including fossil fuel subsidies – by 2020, and the Paris Agreement requires bolder efforts.

We therefore call on the EU to engage the G20 in setting a clear timeline for the full and equitable phase out of fossil fuel subsidies by 2020.

To ensure credibility and consistency, EU leaders, policies and institutions need to immediately translate these commitments into action across Europe. We therefore urge the EU to implement three key steps towards eliminating support for fossil fuels through its policies, financial institutions, and public funding:

1. Develop and agree on a roadmap to phase out all forms of fossil fuel subsidies in the EU and Member States by 2020 at the latest. Such a roadmap should include strict timelines for the phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies with country-specific and measurable outcomes.

2. Ensure that EU funds and financing facilities (including EFSI) do not provide subsidies to fossil fuel projects and infrastructure. EU funds should be fully aligned with mid and long term zero carbon strategies.

3. Improve evaluation and transparency of the EU funds involved in energy integration, including evidence that the funded projects are truly contributing to the EU’s climate and energy objectives and exploiting the full potential of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

In addition to tackling fossil fuel subsidies, CAN Europe joins international call on all G20 countries to ratify the Paris Agreement as soon as possible for early entry into force, with a view to revising and implementing national climate action plans by 2018. We also support the call for ambitious long-term strategies for sustainable development and decarbonisation, in line with limiting global temperature increase to 1.5ºC.

We look forward to an ambitious outcome from the 2016 G20 Summit, in which climate change is recognized not simply as an environmental problem, but as the threat to the global well-being, economy, security and sustainable development that it truly is.

Yours Sincerely,

Wendel Trio, Director, Climate Action Network Europe