Europe and Central Asia

Preventing dangerous climate change


The world is currently on course for a dangerous 3.5 or 4 degree increase in temperature above pre-industrial levels this century. Although the EU has been a leader on climate change in international talks and at home, recently our climate ambition has faltered. Our emission reduction targets for 2020 are too low to help solve the climate problem, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), needs radical restructuring, while EU policies on bioenergy are driving habitat destruction. The new Parliament should help to ensure that the EU again leads on tackling climate change by deciding on strong climate change targets. The Parliament should also make sure that Europe is transitioning to a clean, sustainable renewables-based energy system that works in harmony with nature.

MEPs Should

  • Press for an ambitious global climate change agreement at the 2015 Paris Climate Summit, and support a target to reduce Europe’s greenhouse emissions by at least 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels, and an increase in the 2020 target to 40%.
  • Champion a strong and comprehensive carbon financing regime in the UN Climate Convention to stop the destruction of tropical forests.
  • Adopt an ambitious renewable energy target of at least 45% in terms of final energy demand and an energy efficiency target of at least 40% of primary energy use in 2030.
  • Ensure EU policies affecting energy supply deliver genuine emissions reductions taking into account aspects such as indirect land use change and carbon debt, support a transition to clean, sustainable energy system, and do not drive further biodiversity loss.
  • Ensure that bad biofuels can no longer be subsidized by taxpayers’ money or get counted in the renewables target.
  • Develop a coherent climate change adaptation strategy, for biodiversity and ecosystems as well as for people, using ecosystem based approaches wherever possible and with widespread uptake in other sectors of adaptation measures that benefit, or do not adversely affect, the natural environment.