Europe’s climate ambitions at COP27

With the 2015 Paris Agreement, the international community committed itself to limiting global warming to less than two degrees Celsius. At the Glasgow summit in 2021, a number of states assured that they would no longer invest in coal, oil and gas. Russia’s war in Ukraine threw many things into disarray. Now, the climate targets are to be improved at the UN’s COP27.

Russian gas no longer flows to Europe. Germany, for example, is investing billions in new liquefied natural gas terminals on the coast. Coal-fired power plants are put back into operation to secure the electricity supply this winter. Similar things are happening in other parts of Europe. Nevertheless, the EU states assure that they want to meet the EU’s climate protection target, i. e. reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990.

“Europe presents a vivid picture of a warming world and reminds us that even well-prepared societies are not safe from the effects of extreme weather events”

Ahead of the UN’s COP27 Climate Change Conference, which takes place in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, from November 6, the EU Parliament calls for more leadership in mitigating climate change. The EU must show leadership and increase its 2030 emission reduction targets, stated a resolution adopted by the EU parliament in October.

The EU Parliament called on industrialized countries to increase their climate protection targets, saying that Russia’s war against Ukraine and its consequences made it all the more urgent to transform the global energy system. In addition, MEPs requested that the developed countries must keep their promise and ensure that the developing countries receive 100 billion US dollars in funding each year for climate protection.

Germany’s State Secretary and Special Envoy for International Climate Action at the Federal Foreign Office, Jennifer Morgan, called on the EU to take the leading role at the international conference: “The EU must lead the way in accelerating the energy transition in solidarity with weaker nations.” She added that it was also important to keep financial commitments to developing nations and to support countries particularly affected by climate change through a solidarity pact.

EU pledges more than 23 billion euros to the Global South

On October 28, the Council of the EU announced that the European Union and its 27 member states have pledged 23.04 billion euros in climate finance to the Global South. The funding from public sources aims “to support developing countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change,” a press release read.

54 per cent of the funds were either earmarked for climate adaptation or for measures tackling both adaptation and climate change mitigation, the statement read, citing European Commission figures. Almost half of the total amount was pledged in the form of grants. International public climate finance aims to support countries of the Global South in implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Europe one of the fastest-heating regions in the world

Meanwhile, according to a joint report by the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, temperatures in Europe have increased by more than twice the global average over the past three decades, making it the fastest-warming of all continents.

However, according to preliminary figures, emissions from the 27 EU states fell by 32 per cent between 1990 and 2020, which means that the climate target of a 20 per cent reduction by 2020 was clearly achieved, states a report published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) on October 26.

The experts at the Copenhagen-based EU agency wrote that the annual progress would have to be more than doubled on the way towards meeting the more ambitious climate and energy targets for 2030. Emissions would have to decrease by an average of 134 million tons of CO2 per year, or 4 per cent, to meet the target of reducing emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990.

For WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, “Europe presents a vivid picture of a warming world and reminds us that even well-prepared societies are not safe from the effects of extreme weather events.” But the WMO also notes that it’s not all bad news: “Europe can play a key role in achieving a carbon-neutral society by mid-century to meet the Paris Agreement,” said Petteri Taalas.


DISCLAIMER: This is an abridged version of an article by The European Newsroom (enr), a cooperation between news agencies from all over Europe – dpa, AFP, AGERPRES, ANSA, APA, ATA, Belga, BTA, EFE, Europa Press, FENA, HINA, MIA, PAP, STA, Tanjug, TASR and UKRINFORM. Read the full article here.



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