15 EU environment ministers called today for increasing the EU’s climate target to limit warming to 1.5°C. The other ministers did not support such a commitment, turning their backs on the landmark IPCC report published yesterday.
In reaction to the Environment Ministers’ discussion and conclusions on the COP24 summit, Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said:
“It is encouraging to see many EU countries acknowledge the inadequacy of the current 2030 target and show a commitment to increase it before 2020. Others face a clear choice: either they support targets which are in line with the 1.5 degree Paris Agreement goal, or they condemn us to truly devastating climate impacts. It is now time for EU governments to agree to massively increase emission cuts, at the pace and scale required by the new IPCC report. To stay below 1.5 degree, emissions in the EU should drop to zero by 2040. This means EU leaders need to commit to significantly increase the EU’s 2030 target, at least beyond the 55% proposed by several Member States.”
Countries calling for an increase of the 2030 target included Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The EU will have a critical opportunity to commit to a much higher climate target at the all-important COP24 summit in Katowice this year. The process of revising the 2030 target should be finalized by EU Heads of State and Government at their meeting in May 2019, when they are expected to adopt the new EU long-term climate strategy. This would be timely for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ Climate Summit set to take place in September 2019 in New York to review the Paris Agreement commitments.
The Council conclusions adopted today stress that the new long-term climate strategy that is currently being developed by the European Commission needs to contain both a 1.5°C scenario and a pathway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero in the EU by 2050. Counter to this call, the draft of the document that has been leaked yesterday does not include an option that would allow to keep temperature rise to 1.5°C.
Ania Drazkiewicz, CAN Europe Head of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 494 525 738
 Council conclusions on COP24: https://www.consilium.europa.eu//media/36619/st12901-en18.pdf
 Statement of the Coalition for Higher Ambition ahead of the ENVI Council on 9th October: http://www.caneurope.org/publications/letters-to-policy-makers/1655-statement-of-the-coalition-for-higher-ambition-ahead-of-the-envi-council-on-9th-october
 CAN Europe’s reaction to the IPCC report, outlining what it means for the EU: http://www.caneurope.org/publications/press-releases/1657-europe-needs-to-step-up-climate-action-as-scientists-deliver-unequivocal-evidence-for-the-need-to-stay-below-1-5-c
 Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, presentation on the IPCC a 1.5°C Special Report: http://www.climate.be/users/vanyp/presentations/2018-10-8_jpvy_bruxelles_can-europe_the_new_ipcc_special_report.pdf
 CAN Europe’s reaction to the leaked draft EU long-term climate strategy: http://www.caneurope.org/publications/press-releases/1658-leaked-eu-strategy-at-odds-with-new-ipcc-report-on-1-5-c
 CAN Europe position on Europe’s long term targets: http://www.caneurope.org/publications/can-europe-positions/1656-can-europe-position-on-long-term-targets