Parliament urges for more climate actions

Transition towards net-zero emissions can bring 2.1m new jobs

Photo: EP Kathleen Van Brempt

Expressing full support for the climate marches and school strikes that are taking place across the Union and highlighting that the climate related threats, which Europe and the whole planet are facing now, are coming close to the point when the situation can become beyond human control, MEPs urged for more climate action..

 At their plenary sitting in Strasbourg on 14 March, they backed a European strategic long-term emissions reduction strategy and a vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy. They also urged that the EU and national, regional and local governments take “concrete and swift action” in order not to outrun the 1.5°C target

Lawmakers underlined that the 2030 ambition level should be increased from 40% to 55% in order to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 in the most cost-efficient manner. They pointed out that for this reason the EU must send a clear message that it is ready to review its contribution to the Paris Climate Agreement. They supported the Commission in pushing for two out of the eight pathways that the executive foresees in its communication 'A Clean Planet for All', tabled last November.

They asserted that with the proper support for the most vulnerable regions, sectors and citizens, the transition towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions can potentially result in 2.1 million extra jobs in the Union by 2050. They insisted for a “just transition fund” to support the coal mining regions and other areas most affected by the decarbonisation processes.

S&D vice-president for sustainability, Belgian MEP Kathleen Van Brempt emphasised that scientific evidence provided by the UN shows that, in order to have a safe chance of keeping global warming below 1.5°C by 2100, the Union needs to strive towards reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as early as possible and not later than 2050. “There is no time to waste,” she asserted.

After the vote, Finnish ALDE MEP Nils Torvalds, co-author on behalf of the group of the Liberals, said that in-depth analysis done by the Commission shows that reaching net-zero emissions by the mid-century is possible and would bring significant overall economic and social benefits for the EU. That we managed to get the parliament to endorse raising the 2030 CO2 reduction target to 55% is an important step in our efforts to put the EU in a global leading position in fighting climate change, he stated.

In the MEPs' view, the EU's net-zero strategy should prioritise direct emissions reductions and enhancing natural carbon sinks and reservoirs, such as forests, over carbon removal technologies.

According to MEPs, investment in industrial innovation, including digital technologies and clean technology, is needed to improve growth, competitiveness and create jobs in a growing circular economy and bio-economy. They also stressed that a predictable energy and climate policy plays important role to encourage long-term investment and reiterated the EP's position to allocate at least 35% of the expenditure on the new research programme Horizon Europe for 2021-2027 in propping up climate aims.


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