Climate talks continue to sleepwalk, as EU climate diplomacy stutters
Commenting on outcome of the UN climate summit in Doha (COP18), Green climate spokesperson Satu Hassi, who was part of the official European Parliament delegation to the talks, said:
“The UN climate process is continuing to sleepwalk towards runaway climate change. Another UN climate summit has passed without bridging the gap between pledged action on climate change and what is necessary to achieve the goal of limiting the increase in global temperatures to below 2 degrees.
“EU climate diplomacy is stuttering, with Polish obstruction having prevented any change to the ambition of the EU position. That the final plenary session was delayed because of internal disagreement within the EU delegation is shameful and underlines the need to end the current practice of agreeing climate policy by unanimity, as the European Parliament has called for.
“The continued failure to strengthen EU’s insufficient and ineffective 2020 emissions reduction target looms large over EU climate policy and the EU’s credibility in the negotiations. The summit outcome invites parties to review their pledges in 2014 and the EU Commission must come forward with proposals early next year to this end. Stepping up the EU 2020 emissions target to at least 30% is long overdue both to address faltering domestic climate policy and for international credibility.
“The EU not only failed to build on alliances made last year with poorer, climate-vulnerable countries, these alliances have been dealt a blow by the EU’s failure to accept almost all demands made by these countries. While the architecture for the Kyoto Protocol second commitment period has been maintained, it is overshadowed by the failure to get rid of hot air permanently: the surplus emissions allowances that threaten to drastically undermine Kyoto’s continued effectiveness.
“The outcome has finally included a recognition that there should be a mechanism available for the most vulnerable countries for responding to the impacts of climate damage, beyond what can be adapted to. On climate finance, while a few EU countries made individual pledges, the EU as a whole has made no commitment to trajectories or scaling up climate finance or specific targets for 2015.
“The big underlying problem, however, is that the two biggest polluters, China and the US, are not willing to join a global regime that would require them to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The EU should put much more pressure on these two countries to act.”