UN climate summit should spur action: MEPs

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Brussels/Stockholm: The UN climate summit in Doha (COP 18) should spur the EU and other countries around the world to step up their action to limit global warming, said Environment Committee MEPs in a resolution adopted today. A majority called for the EU to aim for a 30% reduction in emissions by 2020.

"The environment committee has sent a clear signal that the Doha summit must continue the momentum gained from Durban. The EU and our global partners must keep their promises, but also increase their level of ambition if we are to limit global warming to 2 degrees. It's time to move", said Environment Committee Chair Matthias Groote (S&D, DE), who will lead a European Parliament delegation to the summit.

The cross-party resolution - adopted with 54 votes in favour, 7 against and 1 abstention - will be put to a plenary vote in the 19-22 November session.

MEPs reminded that UN parties' pledged action falls short of what scientific findings deem necessary to meet their objective of limiting average global warming to 2°C. Calling on the EU to raise the bar on its current 20% emissions reductions target, the resolution said, "It is in the EU's own interest to aim for a climate protection target of 30% by 2020, thus creating sustainable growth, additional jobs and decreasing the dependency on energy imports".

Environment MEPs extended firm support to a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, a landmark agreement in force since 2005 and due to expire at the end of this year. This should bridge the gap to a global, legally-binding treaty that is set to be agreed by 2015 and in place by 2020, following a breakthrough commitment by UN parties at the Durban summit last December.

Members are concerned that the carry-over of 'assigned amount units' (AAUs) - so-called "hot air" carbon credits held by a number of European and other countries - could undermine climate mitigation efforts. They said that the EU should "lead by example" to resolve this issue.

Parliament's members reiterated their unwavering support for the inclusion of aviation in the EU's emissions trading system in the face of retaliatory trade measures by the US, China and India. International maritime emissions must also be urgently addressed, they warned.
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