European stakeholders call for immediate action in face of climate emergency

Published: 7th May 2019

In an unprecedented Climate Action Call published today, a broad coalition is urging European leaders to take decisive action to respond to the climate emergency. Hundreds of European cities, regions, businesses, youth and faith groups and civil society organisations working on climate, human rights, litigation, mobilization, sports and health call upon leaders to profoundly alter the way we run our societies and economies to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.

The Climate Action Call comes prior to both the EU Heads of State and Government debate on the Future of Europe at the Sibiu summit on 9 May, and the European elections between 23 and 26 May. Climate change is expected to be a central issue in both events, having recently gained prominence in the form of mass citizens’ protests demanding political action.

Signatories of the Climate Action Call demand that current and future EU leaders respond to public mobilization by publicly committing to make climate action a priority for Europe during both the Future of Europe and elections debates. The call spells out five steps for the new European Parliament and Commission, as well as all EU Member State governments:

  1. Commit to accelerate actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and reach net zero emissions as soon as possible.
  2. Plan the end of the use of fossil fuels and provide strong support to energy efficiency, renewable energy and emission cuts outside the energy sector.
  3. Safeguard a just and fair transition and ensure that the EU increases its support to developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
  4. Increase efforts to roll out the circular economy and increase resource efficiency.
  5. Recognise biodiversity protection and ecosystem restoration as a crucial component of climate action.

The signatories include some of Europe’s largest networks of cities and regions (e.g. C40, Energy Cities, Climate Alliance, Fedarene, CPMR), most influential business groups (e.g. Corporate Leaders Group, Haga Initiative, Climate Leadership Council), the largest European NGO coalition on climate and energy (Climate Action Network Europe), and members of an international movement of striking school students (Youth for Climate, Fridays for Future).

Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said:

“We are launching a wake-up call for the climate to all current and future European politicians. Now is the time for EU decision makers to take a stand and commit to decisive action to confront the climate emergency. Our Climate Action Call gives them guidance for how to profoundly alter the way we run our societies and economies to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.”

Marc-Olivier Herman, EU Economic Justice Policy Lead, Oxfam EU Advocacy Office said:

"The world’s poorest communities are paying the highest price for Europe’s inadequate response to the climate crisis. Candidates for office at EU and national level must commit to ensure Europe’s climate policies are ambitious, fair and sustainable.

"This means cutting emissions at home and providing sufficient funding to developing countries for low-carbon development and to adapt to climate change. Most importantly, this means fixing harmful EU policies, such as the bloc's rules on bioenergy that promote the burning of food and forests while pushing people off their land, all in the name of fighting climate change."

Notes to editors

Contact information

Sofia Hansen | Brussels | | office +32 223 411 29 | mobile +32 456 143428

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