Europe and Central Asia

BirdLife Europe & Central Asia Press release- 13/14 June 2017

UPDATE after the vote on 14 JUNE 

Samuel Lee-Gammage, Policy Officer at RSPB said: "We have heard a lot from policymakers about the need for the European Union to step up and show leadership to achieve the Paris Agreement's goals. Today was an opportunity for Parliament to back up that rhetoric with action. Despite improvements on the Commission's proposal, this was an opportunity missed, and the baton is now passed to ministers to show leadership by raising ambition and closing loopholes.

Increasing the number of forestry offsets forgoes the potential of agriculture to contribute to emissions reductions and the benefits that this can also bring for biodiversity. A zero-emissions world, as required by the Paris Agreement, means that agriculture must play its part by shifting to a low-emissions, sustainable food and farming system. Ducking the issue today simply stores up even greater challenges for the future, which isn't good for the climate, or for farmers and nature, who will be among the most impacted by climate change.”


European Parliament should be a leader in the fight against climate change

Tomorrow, Wednesday 14 June, the European Parliament plenary will vote on an important file for the climate: the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) – which sets out binding annual greenhouse gas emission targets for Member States for the period 2021–2030 and the rules they must follow to meet them. It includes the transport, buildings, agriculture and waste management sectors, together accounting for almost 60% of total EU emissions. 

Last week the ENVI committee of the European Parliament adopted its report in first reading but extra amendments have been tabled in for tomorrow’s plenary vote that risk weakening the European Parliament’s leadership in the fight against climate change.

Samuel Lee-Gammage, Policy Officer, RSPB said: “With the announcement of the United States' withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, the European Union, as well as many member states such as France and Germany, have claimed that they will take up leadership to ensure that the goals of this crucial agreement are achieved. However, inconsistency between rhetoric and policy action threatens to make hypocrites of European Union member states and of many policymakers."

“Tomorrow the Parliament will vote on the Effort Sharing Regulation, which covers 60% of EU emissions and so is central to fulfilling the Paris Agreement's goals. However, instead of strengthening the Parliament's negotiating position, the EPP, ECR, and ALDE have proposed changes that would release an additional 110 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere from sectors covered by the Effort Sharing Regulation – an amount equivalent to 3.5 (500 megawatt) coal power plants running for 10-years, or the annual emissions from 114 million cars."

“These changes will also delay necessary climate action in the agriculture sector, forgoing its potential to reduce EU emissions and the co-benefits this can bring for biodiversity, and storing up even greater challenges for a future in which agriculture must contribute to achieving the Paris Agreement's goals. At a time in which science shows that even greater climate action is needed to avoid irreversible changes to our planet, we need to be doing everything we can to reduce emissions. These last-minute introductions are shameful and should be opposed by MEPs in the plenary vote tomorrow.” ENDS

For further information, please contact:
Samuel Lee-Gammage, Policy Officer, RSPB (member of BirdLife and the EEB) 
Tel. +44 (0) 7758239151

ENVI report:
Commission proposal:
Details on the file at the EP:
Proposed amendments to ENVI report:
Press release from 30 May 2017

BirdLife Europe and Central Asia is a partnership of 48 national conservation organisations and a leader in bird conservation. Our unique local to global approach enables us to deliver high impact and long term conservation for the benefit of nature and people. BirdLife Europe and Central Asia is one of the six regional secretariats that compose BirdLife International. Based in Brussels, it supports the European and Central Asian Partnership and is present in 47 countries including all EU Member States. With more than 4100 staff in Europe, two million members and tens of thousands of skilled volunteers, BirdLife Europe and Central Asia, together with its national partners, owns or manages more than 6000 nature sites totalling 320,000 hectares.

The EEB is Europe’s largest network of environmental citizens' organisations. We bring together around 140 civil society organisations from more than 30 European countries. We stand for sustainable development, environmental justice & participatory democracy.



Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.