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EU leaders set 2030 climate, energy targets

The United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21 or CMP11 will be held in Paris, France in 2015. The international climate conference will be held at the Le Bourget site from 30th November 2015 until the 11th December 2015.  This will be the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties (CMP 11) to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The conference objective is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world.  The meeting will mark a decisive stage in negotiations on the future international agreement on a post-2020 regime, and will, as agreed in Durban, adopt the major outlines of that regime.  By the end of the meeting, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, all the nations of the world, including the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, will be bound by a universal agreement on climate.

The EU now will not insist on an assessment of all countries’ climate pledges before next year’s Paris talks.  This was the conclusion of the recent EU Environment Council that took place on 21st October in Brussels where ministers, after a significant debate, agreed that an assessment of all countries’ climate pledges would not be carried out before the UN Paris talks.  Commissioner Connie  Hedegaard, the outgoing climate commissioner, had argued that a review in advance of Paris was essential in order to guarantee that the combined EU efforts amounted to what is needed keep global warming below 2°C. The Environment Council has now confirmed that only the contributions should be “considered and analysed” ahead of Paris. Laurent Fabius, France’s foreign minister revealed the four domains on which France hopes the Paris climate agreement will focus:
1 - A legally-binding protocol aimed at limiting the global temperature rise to +2 degrees Celsius by 2050;
2 – A detailed plan of how each country plans to modify its economic model;
3 - The transfer of funds from North to South through the Green Climate Fund;
4 - Solutions proposed by civil society, local communities and businesses.
EU leaders meanwhile have agreed to review their 40% greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030 after the Paris climate summit in 2015 confirming that EU ambitions might have to be reviewed if other major economies do not deliver in Paris. On a positive note, EU leaders did agreed an EU-level binding renewable energy target and an indicative EU energy saving target, of 27% per Member State rather than 30% that was proposed by the European Commission.  Reacting to the deal, Jeremy Wates, EEB Secretary General, said: “With this abysmal result, Europe’s leaders have failed their citizens and failed the world. More and more extreme weather events such as flooding and wildfires are already hurting people and their communities all across Europe. Adopting a set of targets to cut energy waste by 40%, roll out sustainable renewables to 45% of the energy mix and cut emissions by 60% is what the science of climate change demands, and is also what will help Europe get on its feet. Now that the EU Council has dropped the ball on this vital issue, it is essential that President Juncker makes good on his commitment for Europe to become a world leader on renewables as well as to propose a far more ambitious and binding energy savings target for 2030.” The new Commission is expected to bring forward “regulatory and financial efforts” that will focus on priority sectors in which significant energy-efficiency gains can be achieved. Leaders also agreed an electricity interconnection goal for Europe’s national grids as a means of creating a supergrid to avoid blackouts and challenges that might arise in different member states due to disruptions in energy supply.

The EU’s existing 20% CO2 reduction goal for 2020 would move to 30% if a global climate deal were agreed.  NGOs meanwhile have argued that the EU position lacks ambition.  See attached European Council conclusions
VIDEO BARROSO - http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I094497

Issue 37