Unique ‘Coalition for Higher Ambition’ calls upon the EU to step up at COP24

Global transition

As the first week of this year’s climate summit COP24 draws to a close, a unique gathering of businesses, investors, local authorities, trade unions and NGOs are calling upon EU Ministers arriving at the COP next week to commit to significantly increase the current EU climate commitments by 2020, in order to secure a successful outcome of the summit.

Stakeholders standing together as the Coalition for Higher Ambition urge EU governments attending the COP to respond to the landmark 1.5°C IPCC report with urgency and scaled up ambition. The first week of the talks delivered limited progress on technical issues, but most decisions that are expected from this COP, including a commitment to strengthen all countries’ climate pledges by 2020, are left to the ministers.

To stimulate progress of the talks, the EU needs to do its best to convince all countries to support such a commitment, including by pledging to substantially increase its own climate targets. With its new draft long-term strategy calling for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, the EU brought new ambition to the negotiating table, but it is the increase of the short-term emission cuts by 2030 that will make or break our response to the climate crisis.

Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said: “The first week of the climate summit was full of bad news on emissions reaching all-time highs and targets not matching the demands of science. It is clear that governments are not keeping the promises they made three years ago when the Paris Agreement was signed. The second week of the COP is the last chance to correct the course. We urge EU leaders to show leadership and ambition, and commit to increase the EU’s 2030 target even beyond the 55% reduction some Member States and the European Parliament are calling for.”

Yann Françoise, Head of climate, energy and circular economy strategies, City of Paris said: ”Achieving Paris agreement is already a priority of numerous EU cities. City of Paris adopted in last March its new Climate Actions Plan to be carbon neutral by 2050 for a fair, inclusive and resilient city. To achieve this ambition, all policies local, regional, national and European should be aligned. The EU should increase its ambition. 30 years is a short period to achieve this transition which claims social justice initiatives as the same level than mitigation and adaptation solutions. Cities act, have solutions, cities are ready to work together”

Mir Roca Montserrat, Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation ETUC said: “Scientists and citizens marching in the streets are reminding us that the climate clock is ticking. The ETUC supports the objective of a net-zero emissions EU in 2050, but reaching that objective requires much more ambitious milestones for 2030 and 2040. Reaching that objective also requires leaving no one behind. Rising ambition and just transition must go hands in hands. Creating quality jobs, organising labour transitions and strong social protection systems are crucial enabling factors to make the EU zero emission in three decades.”

Miguel Ángel Muñoz, Head of climate policies – Chairman’s area at Iberdrola said: “Achieving net zero emissions by 2050 is a viable target for the overall EU economy and a source of opportunities for value and job creation. The electricity sector can play a key role in fulfilling this target, and Iberdrola is fully committed to contribute to it. Alliances and stable and long term policy frameworks are key to comply with Paris Accord commitments.”



[1] On Saturday, 8 December, at 18.30-20.00 in the EU Pavilion at the COP, Coalition for Higher Ambition will hold a joint side event, showcasing the way to a zero carbon Europe

[2] On Wednesday, 12 December, at 10.00 – 10.30 CAN Europe and Polish Climate Coalition will hold a press conference to comment on the progress of the talks at COP24


Ania Drazkiewicz, CAN Europe Head of Communications, ania@caneurope.org, +32 494 525 738

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s leading NGO coalition fighting dangerous climate change. With over 150 member organisations from 35 European countries, representing over 1.700 NGOs and more than 40 million citizens, CAN Europe promotes sustainable climate, energy and development policies throughout Europe.


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