Europe must review climate targets after weak climate package deal

Today European leaders met in Brussels to agree an EU climate and energy package up until 2030.

Leaders decided to curb C02 emissions by at least 40%, increase the amount of renewable energy in the mix to at least 27%, and set a non-binding target to reduce energy demand by at least 27%. 

In response to the announcement of the deal, Natalia Alonso, Oxfam’s Deputy Director of Advocacy & Campaigns, said:

“Today’s target of at least 40% of emissions reductions is welcome but only a first step, which falls far too short of what the EU needs to do to pull its weight in the fight against climate change. Insufficient action like this from the world's richest countries places yet more burden on the poorest people most affected by climate change, but least responsible for causing this crisis.

“By leaving the possibility to increase the 40% target as part of the international negotiations, European leaders such as Merkel and Cameron acknowledge that what has been proposed is inadequate – today's deal must set the floor not the ceiling of European action, and they must arrive in Paris with a more serious offer.

“It is shocking that business leaders called for higher -and binding- targets than those agreed by EU leaders.

“EU leaders had an historic opportunity to shape a smarter, fairer, more sustainable future through a clear shift towards renewable energy and energy efficiency today. Instead, they have been held back by the fossil fuel industry and their friends, settling for an underwhelming response that keeps the EU stuck in the energy and climate crisis.

“Leaders have agreed to slow down Europe’s energy saving effort and renewable energy development. This so-called ‘climate package’ could subsidise coal to the tune of billions of Euros.

“Despite this, European leaders still have the opportunity to redeem themselves by reviewing their emissions targets as early as possible next year and ensuring all EU countries commit the money needed to help poorer countries deal with climate change.”

Today EU leaders called on the European Commission to propose legislation that boosts  the use of renewable energy in transport beyond 2020.

“When drafting new legislation, the European Commission must learn from the flaws of the current policy. Biofuels that compete with food for land and crops drive climate change and threaten food security. When tackling emissions from transport, targets, subsidies and other measures promoting these biofuels should be avoided at all cost,” added Alonso.

Notes to editors: 

Demands by business leaders on EU Heads of State on the EU 2030 climate & energy package:

  • 11 big European companies -including Philips, Ikea, Spar and Unilever- called on EU leaders to agree on three binding targets – ‘well beyond a’ 40% target on greenhouse gas emissions cuts and at least a 40% target on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Read the letter.
  • 49 companies through the European Alliance to Save Energy called for a 40% energy saving target. Read the letter.
  • Members of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) called on the EU to support a target of at least a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions in Europe, and 50% if other countries take comparable action. It also supports targets of at least a binding 30% target for renewables deployment and at least 30% for energy savings. Read their statement.

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) called for at least 3 targets of at least 40% greenhouse emissions cut, at least 30% of renewable energy and at least 40% of energy savings, with EU targets to be translated in national binding targets. Read their position.

 

Oxfam’s latest report Food, Fossil Fuels and Filthy Finance reveals:

  • 80% of global CO2 emissions come from fossil fuels, which are driving climate change and making people hungry.
  • People around the world are trapped in a ‘toxic triangle’ made up of short-term financial investors, timid governments and fossil fuel companies, which threatens to push up  global temperatures, putting 400 million people at risk of hunger and drought by 2060.
  • Dirty fossil fuel companies spent more than €44 million last year lobbying the EU to block action on climate change.
Contact information: 

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

For updates, please follow @Oxfam.