Climate Action Network provided the following comment on the releasse of the EC's Energy Union package today.
The European Commission has today published a proposal on how to flesh out the EU's commitment towards the Paris agreement on climate change as part of a package outlining Europe's vision for energy and climate issues.
Building off it's previously announced target to reduce carbon pollution by at least 40% by 2030, the EC is the first party to attempt to translate its pledge for presentation to the UNFCCC after after last year's major climate negotiations in Lima gave countries guidance on the information to be presented. While being the first off the mark is cause for applause, European NGOs will be working with EU member states to improve the transparency and quality of the EC's proposal before a version of it goes to the bloc's environment ministers next week.
Moving forward, the EU will need to bring to life the "at least" part of their climate action commitment. Countries like Denmark have already committed to make 100% of their electricity supply renewable because they know that such policies can deliver more and better jobs, improved public health and more prosperous economies.
The EC's draft proposal was silent on the amount of additional support they'd provide to developing countries who are expected to take their own climate action under the Paris agreement. Scaling up support will be vital if we're to secure a comprehensive global climate agreement in Paris in December that builds resilient communities and helps vulnerable people. Developing countries in particular will be looking for the EU to be more explicit in coming months on how it will help communities adapt to climate change.
The EC's move today will kick off a wave of pledges from countries over the course of the year – all of which will add up to the first collective signal that the world is moving out of fossil fuels and embracing the renewable energy era. All eyes will now turn to other developed countries who need to submit their commitments by the end of March. The EC has also outlined plans to hold a review collective commitments in November providing the impetus for all countries to consider what more they can do to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels on the eve of the Paris Climate Summit.
Ria Voorhaar – +49 157 317 355 68, rvoorhaar @ climatenetwork.org