EU's claimed leadership on climate policy a myth, according to new study
Press release 9.12.2009
A study by the Ecofys Institute, commissioned by the Greens/EFA group and launched in European Parliament, has revealed the EU’s claims to be the leader in international climate policy to be a myth.
The study*, which looks at both past climate policies and current pledges, serves to further underline the need for the EU to up its pledges on emissions reductions and climate financing in order to live up to its claims and goals on climate change.
At the launch of the study, Finnish Green MEP Satu Hassi, a member of the European Parliament delegation to the UN climate summit in Copenhagen, said:
“This study reveals the EU’s proclaimed leadership in international climate policy to be a myth. The EU’s past emissions reductions have been more down to coincidence than proactive policies, while its current pledges fall short of its own goals and are behind the pledges of other countries.
“The EU must immediately improve its reductions commitment to at least 30%. This step towards meeting its responsibilities would catalyse improved commitments from other countries in Copenhagen and help to reach global commitments that are in line with limiting warming to 2°C.
“The EU is coasting on statistical anomalies. Around half the emissions reductions that have occurred in the EU to date have been the result of the collapse of former Soviet industries and the economic recession, rather than policy choices. The EU’s emissions trading scheme risks being an ineffective instrument of climate policy unless the EU adopts more ambitious emissions reduction targets. Its pledges also fare poorly when compared with those of some industrialised countries (like Japan) and, particularly, emerging economies.”
Dutch Green MEP Bas Eickhout, also a member of the European Parliament delegation to the UN climate summit in Copenhagen, added:
“The EU must commit to an unconditional target to reduce its emissions 30% by 2020 from 1990 levels without delay in order to restore its credibility in the UN climate talks. Even this target would not be consistent with the EU goal of limiting warming to 2°C. This would require the EU to promise emissions reductions of at least 40% by 2020. On top of this, the emissions reductions must be delivered domestically and not simply offset by purchasing credits.
“The continued failure of the EU to live up to its responsibility and commit to providing a sufficient amount of financing for climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries is another major shadow over the EU’s position. This study makes clear that the EU share of public financing as part of a fair and sufficient climate deal would be around one-third. The EU must step up to the plate and commit to providing at least €30 billion per annum by 2020 (as advocated by the EP environment committee) and immediate pledges for the fast track financing as soon as possible.”
*Click for the study by the Ecofys Institute, experts in climate and energy policy.
Click for the political summary of the study.