13 Feb 2020, 13:26
Sören Amelang

Delay in fixing EU 2030 climate target puts COP26 at risk – environmental NGOs

Clean Energy Wire

The EU must commit to new climate targets this spring in order to increase the chances of success at this year's crucial climate conference COP26, an alliance of German environmental NGOs has urged. In a letter addressed to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, NGOs including Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND), Greenpeace, Germanwatch, E3G and WWF  warned that "delays in fixing the EU 2030 climate targets put the climate conference in Glasgow at risk." They added: "It is with great concern that we have learned from your Commission's work programme that the presentation of the new 2030 target is only planned for the third quarter of this year.”

The NGOs argued that presenting the EU's new Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the spring "is the only way to ensure that the EU will be able to act geopolitically from June onwards and enter into negotiations with other major emitters in good time." They continued: "And only if, in accordance with its historic responsibility, Europe sends clear signals to the international community at an early stage will the increase in European ambition make the best possible contribution to containing the climate crisis."

Countries are set to ratchet up ambitions under the Paris Agreement after the UN climate conference in Madrid left many disappointed. EU member states are facing tough talks on how to increase the bloc-wide 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target in time for the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November. Many also see the EU-China summit in Leipzig in September as an opportunity for the two regions to announce more ambitious policies.

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