‘Climate emergency’: MEPs call for emissions clampdown – including aviation

The EU should commit to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at a major upcoming UN conference, and include aviation and shipping in national contribution plans, according to the European Parliament.

Ahead of the UN COP25 Climate Change Conference in Madrid, which will take place from Monday, December 2 to Friday, December 13, the European Parliament approved a resolution declaring a climate and environmental emergency in Europe and globally.

Making the move yesterday, Thursday, November 28, the parliament also sought for the European Commission to ensure that all relevant legislative and budgetary proposals are fully aligned with the objective of limiting global warming to under 1.5°.

In a separate resolution, the parliament urged the EU to submit its strategy to reach climate neutrality as soon as possible, and by 2050 at the latest, to the UN Convention on Climate Change.

MEPs also called on the new European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to include a 55% reduction target of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in the European Green Deal.

MEPs say that current aviation and shipping ambitions fall short of the necessary emissions reductions.

All countries should include emissions from international shipping and aviation in their national contributions plans, the MEPs said, urging the commission to propose that the maritime sector be included in the EU’s Emissions Trading System.

In addition, EU countries should at least double their contributions to the international Green Climate Fund, parliament said.

EU member states are the largest providers of public climate finance and the EU’s budget should fully comply with its international commitments.

They also note that pledges by developed countries do not meet the collective goal of US $100 billion per year as of 2020.

Finally, they urgently call on all EU countries to phase out all direct and indirect fossil fuel subsidies by 2020.

Pascal Canfin, chair of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, commented, saying:

The European Parliament has just adopted an ambitious position in view of the upcoming COP25 in Madrid. Given the climate and environmental emergency, it is essential to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 55% in 2030.

“It also sends a clear and timely message to the commission a few weeks before the publication of the communication on the ‘Green Deal’,” he concluded.

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