Strasbourg, 22 November 2016

S&Ds call for strong EU leadership to move ahead with global climate action

Following the UN Climate (COP22) summit which took place in Marrakech last week, tomorrow the members of the European Parliament will discuss future action with representatives of the Commission and the Council.

Jo Leinen, S&D spokesperson on COP 22 and co-chair of the European Parliament's delegation for the UN Climate Summit in Morocco, said:

“The political commitment adopted in the Marrakech Action Proclamation sets the strong signal of the international community to work together towards a low carbon economy.

“Now it is up to the EU to take the lead and together with China, join forces to take the Paris agenda ahead, despite the possible disengagement from a US Trump administration. European and Chinese economies should use their political weight and exploit the potential of green technologies together. Global climate diplomacy will be ever more important in the future and the European Commission and member states should heavily engage with governments, but also regions, NGOs and business stakeholders.

“Also, the EU must be ready to scale up its own targets and deliver a long-term strategy in 2018, when national climate plans will be assessed and adapted. S&D are already pushing for an ambitious reform of the Emission Trading System, the Effort Sharing Regulation and cautiously await the Commission's energy proposals due next week. Europe cannot afford to derogate the climate goals of the Paris Agreement by setting low targets for renewable deployment and energy reduction. 

"Marrakech sent the message that the path towards a low carbon economy is irreversible. The Energy Winter Package should not fall short in setting the EU on track for this development."

S&D vice-president for sustainability, Kathleen Van Brempt MEP, said:

“The Marrakech Climate summit proves that there is no way back in the global fight against climate change. If you compare the impact of Donald Trump’s election on the UN climate negotiations with that of George Bush in 2000, there is a huge difference. While in 2000 at the COP6 conference in The Hague the international community couldn’t find an agreement on making the Kyoto protocol operational, the international reaction now to the potential disengagement of the US has been firm and bold in favour of multilateral action.

“As the parliament discussed European security policy this week, we must be aware that avoiding disruptive climate change is also a matter of national security. Furthermore, climate action offers an opportunity for sustainable and fairer growth. Europe can show the way in proposing a successful alternative model to a carbon-based economy.”

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Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament · Rue Wiertz 60 · Brussels B-1047 · Belgium