EU gambles with our future by setting weak climate targets
Lucy Brinicombe Senior Press Officer
22nd Jan 2014
The European Commission unveiled today its vision for Europe's climate and energy policies from now to 2030.
The blueprint includes a 40 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions and a 27 per cent target for renewable energy - but the latter is not even binding for EU governments. European governments will debate this proposal in the coming months.
In response, Oxfam's climate change policy adviser Tracy Carty said:
"The European Commission's lacklustre response to the very real threat of climate change is tepid tokenism. It is nowhere near enough to help us avoid dangerous levels of global warming and future global food crises.
"Over the next crucial couple of months, the UK must step forward so that EU targets match what is urgently needed to avoid global warming above 2 degrees and help galvanise global momentum to cut emissions. This is crucial for the world's poorest already on the frontline of climate change."
Worldwide development organisation Oxfam is calling for binding EU-wide targets of at least 55 per cent greenhouse gas reductions, 45 per cent share for sustainable renewable energy and 40 per cent energy efficiency.
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Notes to Editors
At the 2009 UN climate summit in Copenhagen, world leaders agreed to limit global warming to 2°C to avoid runaway climate change. However, the emissions reduction targets governments have put forward are insufficient to make this happen. Developed countries are also failing to deliver the money developing countries need to curb their emissions and cope with climate impacts. Oxfam is calling on world leaders to recommit to the action necessary to meet the 2°C target and to fill the Green Climate Fund at the climate summit organised by UN chief Ban Ki-Moon in September, ahead of the UN
Paris climate conference next year where world leaders need to agree a new global climate deal.
If global temperatures rise more than 2°C over pre-industrial levels, the climate impact on water resources, food production, sea levels, and ecosystems is predicted to be catastrophic for billions of people, and scientists believe dangerous feedback loops (which trigger spiralling temperatures, increasing much higher much faster) are likely to kick in.
On current trends, it has been estimated that the number of people at risk of hunger is projected to increase by 10- 20 percent by 2050 compared to a world with no climate change (source)
Today leading NGOs including CAN Europe, WWF, Oxfam, Friends of the Earth Europe, Greenpeace, APRODEV, Carbon Market Watch, EEB, HEAL and Women in Europe for a Common Future staged a cry for HELP! in front of the European Commission. They called on the European Commission and the EU Heads of State and Government to put EU climate ambition back on track with what its citizens - and science - are calling for.
Photos available here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwf_eu/12049718004/