UN Climate Summit: European Commission pretends to be a climate champion, reiterates previous pledges

Published: 23rd September 2014

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso gave a speech at the UN Climate Summit today, claiming the EU is setting a good example in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

The meeting, convened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York to advance climate action and ambition, has gathered more than 120 heads of state and government, including 19 European.  

Jean-Cyril Dagorn, Oxfam’s EU climate change expert, said: 
“It is good that the European Commission reiterates the EU engagement to dedicate 20 percent of the 2014-2020 EU budget for external action on climate action, and details a few funding pledges. This however is not a new commitment and doesn’t hide the fact that the European Commission has not pledged to the Green Climate Fund.

“The EU brings nothing new to the negotiating table yet still pretends to be a climate champion. To fulfil this role, the EU must stop relying on fossil fuels and prepare a 2030 climate and energy package with greenhouse gas emissions reductions, renewable energy and energy efficiency targets in keeping with the obvious threat climate change poses to people the world over.

“Instead what is on the table in Brussels is a limp proposal that will not make the EU a climate trailblazer, leaving it in no fit state to lead negotiations on a globally binding climate deal.”

Oxfam is calling on EU leaders, meeting next month in Brussels, to agree an EU 2030 climate and energy package that has a binding target to reduce emissions by 55 percent, and binding targets to increase the share of sustainable renewable energy in the energy mix -  up to 45 percent -  and to reduce energy use by at least 40 percent. 

Notes to editors

Read Oxfam’s new report “The Summit that Snoozed” revealing that climate-related disasters have cost half a trillion dollars since world leaders last met to discuss climate change

Contact information

In New York: Sue Rooks on +1 917 224 0834 or sue.rooks@oxfaminternational.org
In Brussels: Angela Corbalan on + 32 473 56 22 60 or angela.corbalan@oxfaminternational.org