EU gambles with our future by proposing weak climate targets

The European Commission unveiled today its vision for Europe’s climate and energy policies from now to 2030.

The blueprint includes a 40 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions and a 27 per cent target for renewable energy – but the latter is not even binding for EU governments. European governments will debate this proposal in the coming months.

In reaction to today’s news, Lies Craeynest, Oxfam’s EU climate change expert, said:

The European Commission is gambling with our future. The proposed 40% target would scupper any hopes of keeping temperatures below the 2 degree danger level. With such lamentably low ambition, the Commission is dramatically increasing the odds of a future global food crisis.”

“Shamefully, Commission President Barroso has put the interests of the fossil fuel lobby above all others. Progressive business leaders who understand the serious threat that climate change poses to people and the economy must now make sure European governments demand a much bolder 2030 EU climate package.”

Worldwide development organization Oxfam is calling for binding EU-wide targets of at least 55 per cent greenhouse gas reductions, 45 per cent share for sustainable renewable energy and 40 per cent energy efficiency.  

Notes to Editors

At the 2009 UN climate summit in Copenhagen, world leaders agreed to limit global warming to 2°C to avoid runaway climate change. However, the emissions reduction targets governments have put forward are insufficient to make this happen. Developed countries are also failing to deliver the money developing countries need to curb their emissions and cope with climate impacts. Oxfam is calling on world leaders to recommit to the action necessary to meet the 2°C target and to fill the Green Climate Fund  at the climate summit organised by UN chief Ban Ki-Moon in September, ahead of the UN Paris climate conference next year where world leaders need to agree a new global climate deal.

If global temperatures rise more than 2°C over pre-industrial levels, the climate impact on water resources, food production, sea levels, and ecosystems is predicted to be catastrophic for billions of people, and scientists believe dangerous feedback loops (which trigger spiralling temperatures, increasing much higher much faster) are likely to kick in.

On current trends, the number of people at risk of hunger is projected to increase by 10- 20 percent by 2050 as a result of climate change (source)

Today leading NGOs including CAN Europe, WWF, Oxfam, Friends of the Earth Europe, Greenpeace, APRODEV, Carbon Market Watch, EEB, HEAL and Women in Europe for a Common Future staged a cry for HELP! in the front of the European Commission - calling on the European Commission and the EU Heads of State and Government to put EU climate ambition back on track with what its citizens – and science – are calling for.

Photos available here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwf_eu/sets/72157639968211574/

Contact information: 

Angela Corbalan on + 32 (0) 473 56 22 60 or angela.corbalan@oxfaminternational.org

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