France among EU nations seeking greater climate ambition

Climate – France, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Portugal and Luxembourg call for a European Union climate ambition commensurate with the Paris Agreement – Communiqué issued by the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition¹

Paris, 25 April 2018

Meeting in Paris on 25 April on the invitation of Nicolas Hulot and Brune Poirson in the context of the meeting of the 2050 Pathways Platform, co-founded by Laurence Tubiana at COP22 in Marrakesh, the ministers in charge of climate change of France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Portugal, Germany and Luxembourg recognized the importance of ensuring EU climate policy is Paris Agreement-proof. The ministers called for the development and implementation in all countries, and particularly in the European Union, of an ambitious long-term strategy in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

Confronted by alarming scientific analysis on climate change, to which the upcoming IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C will further contribute, enhanced action by all countries is urgent and necessary for respecting the Paris Agreement’s long-term goals. The European Union must keep its climate leadership and show its ability to mobilize all parties to the Agreement in the fight against climate change.

The European Council, on 22 March, called on the European Commission to prepare a long-term strategy by, at the latest, the first quarter of 2019. The European Commission, also present today, has confirmed its commitment to produce a proposal for such a strategy as soon as possible.

Brune Poirson for France, Eva Svedling for Sweden, Eric Wiebes for the Netherlands, Kimmo Tiilikainen for Finland, José Mendes for Portugal, André Weidenhaupt for Luxembourg and Karsten Sach for Germany called for this strategy to consider raised levels of ambition of the EU and to present pathways towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement, including intermediary steps. They emphasized the commitment of each of their countries in the development of such a strategy at the national level, covering all sectors.

This transition towards a decarbonized economy should also contribute to achieving the UN’s 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, through a just and integrated transition for the EU and the rest of the world, the ministers said.

Brune Poirson, Minister of State attached to the Ministre d’Etat, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, France: "The European Union must raise its level of ambition to reach the Paris Agreement goals. France is taking its part by defining and implementing new policies for a fair and ecological transition, and is currently revising its national long-term strategy to aim at carbon neutrality at horizon 2050."

Eva Svedling, State Secretary for Climate, Sweden: "Science tells us we only have a few years to respond forcefully in order to avoid the most devastating effects of climate change. Sweden has taken bold national climate targets, including a net zero emissions target for 2045. Sweden also believes the EU should set a target for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, or even earlier if science shows that it is needed."

Eric Wiebes, Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the Netherlands: "The Dutch government aims to be one of the frontrunners on climate policy, seeking close cooperation with other member states, in order to explore the possibilities for a more ambitious European approach. The Netherlands has a national climate target of 49% reduction by 2030 and is looking for possibilities to raise the EU target for 2030 to 55% reduction.”

Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing, Finland: "Finland wants to be carbon neutral by 2045. Phasing out coal in energy production by 2029 is an important step on this path. The EU needs an ambitious goal for 2050 and a strategy to achieve it and we are eager to contribute to this work. The EU’s Emission Trading Scheme must remain the cornerstone of our climate policy and should be further strengthened and broadened to fulfil this role."

José Gomes Mendes, Deputy Minister for the Environment, Portugal: "We must continue to work on the vision we launched in Paris. The EU long-term climate strategy should demonstrate high ambition and uphold the leading role the EU has been claiming as regards climate action. Portugal stands ready to contribute with determination; therefore we have assumed the political objective of becoming carbon neutral by 2050."

Karsten Sach, Director General, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Germany: “It is an important step forward that the EU will now develop a new long-term climate strategy based on the Paris Agreement. In parallel to this European process, Germany is expeditiously working on concrete policies and measures for a just transition as committed already in its national 2050 climate strategy.”

André Weidenhaupt, Director General, Ministry for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, Luxembourg: "The EU needs a long-term climate strategy consistent with the ambition level in the Paris Agreement. In this perspective there is the need to mainstream climate action into all relevant EU policies and the next Multiannual Financial Framework. Enabling EU policies, such as the “clean energy package”, in particular the renewable energy and energy efficiency directives, vehicles and products standards, will contribute in this perspective."./.

¹Source of English text: French Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition website.

Published on 08/01/2020

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