European Green Deal must deliver quick and ambitious action to address climate crisis, says Oxfam

Published: 11th December 2019

Today the European Commission presented its flagship European Green Deal. Oxfam welcomes the ambition of the deal to make Europe the first climate neutral continent, and to transform itself into a sustainable circular economy. However, it is vital that the European Green Deal ensures revision of Europe’s climate targets for 2030 in time for next year’s UN climate summit.

Chema Vera, Interim Executive Director of Oxfam International, said:

"Any suggestion of delaying a new 2030 emissions target risks knocking the Paris Agreement off course. Ambition and leadership is needed now more than ever, otherwise European countries will jeopardise the best hope we have of securing a safer world for the world's poorest people.

"It is vital they stop delaying and pledge steep carbon cuts early next year – well in advance of the COP26 climate talks. They should also dramatically scale up funding to help those who are suffering the most from a climate emergency they did the least to cause, including for those forced from their homes."

Oxfam’s EU Economic Justice Policy Lead, Marc-Olivier Herman, said:

“The test for the European Green Deal is whether it will deliver the urgent and ambitious action needed to respond to the climate crisis. The recent flooding across East Africa shows that millions of people in the countries most exposed to the climate crisis are already paying the price for global emissions.

“In order to make the European economy truly sustainable, the EU must also address the environmental impacts and human rights violations of European companies. Millions of people producing the food we eat and the products we buy are suffering from poor working conditions and environmental degradation. Unfortunately, the blueprint published today contains no clear commitment that the EU will use its legislative power to hold companies accountable throughout supply chains.”

Contact information

At COP25 in Madrid: Kai Tabacek on / +44 (0)7584 265 077

In Brussels: Sofia A. Hansen on / +32-456-14 34 28


For updates, please follow @Oxfam and @OxfamEU

Notes to editors

The proposed European Green Deal would not bring forward a new emissions reduction target for 2030 until summer 2020. Such a delay risks not giving European countries enough time to agree the new target before the COP26 climate talks in November 2020. The Paris Agreement deadline requires all countries to increase their 2030 climate pledges by 2020.