Spain and 10 other countries ask the European Commission for an ambitious climate goal for 2040

The signatories are Germany, France, Portugal, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, Finland, Luxembourg, Ireland and Bulgaria and they demand, in a letter they addressed to the European Commission, “concrete actions to reduce emissions, which reaffirm the EU as a global leader and send a strong political signal to other large emitters. The nations appeal in their letter to “guarantee ambitious climate plans that keep the 1.5ºC objective alive before CoP30, to be held next year in Brazil.”

The third vice president of the Government and minister of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, has signed, together with her counterparts from 10 other EU countries, a joint letter in which they demand that the European Commission set an ambitious climate objective for 2040. The European Commission plans to present a communication at the beginning of February in which it will open the debate on the European ambition in climate matters to 2040, hence the interest of Spain and the rest of its partners in letting the community executive know that they expect a firm proposal in line with science.

Ribera and the rest of the signatories emphasize in their letter that the need for “ambitious global climate action” has never been more evident than at this time. 2023 – they highlight – turned out to be the warmest year on record, and global warming will intensify a series of adverse effects that will put the well-being and security of the world at risk.

At its meeting on 14-15 December 2023, the European Council welcomed the Conclusions of the first Global Stocktake held that same week at CoP28 in Dubai. In particular, the agreement to accelerate the reduction of polluting emissions towards net zero emissions by 2050, in accordance with the best available science, to keep the 1.5°C target alive.

“It is crucial that the European Union translates this into concrete and ambitious actions to send a strong political signal that the Union will lead by example to convince other large emitters to follow the same path and guarantee the necessary contributions to keep alive the 1.5°C appropriately before CoP30,” the letter states.

However, both Teresa Ribera and the rest of her signatory partners believe that they can only persuade others to step forward if they do the work from home. Therefore, they add, “we strongly encourage the European Commission to recommend an ambitious climate target for the EU for 2040 in its next communication.”

At the same time, adequate implementation of the Fit for 55 (Goal 55) legislative package must be guaranteed, which reinforces the credibility of the EU on the international stage when it comes to demanding the same climate ambition from other actors.

A live 1.5ºC
According to the eleven signatory nations, an ambitious European climate objective for 2040 must be guaranteed, aligned with the 1.5ºC objective, which must take into account the principles of the European Climate Law. And these are (1) the best available science, (2) cost efficiency, (3) a just and equitable transition, and (4) the costs of inaction. Likewise – the signatories highlight – the voice of the European Scientific Advisory Council on Climate Change must be taken into account. And equally – they add – it must be ensured that the EU is fully on track towards climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest, with the aim of achieving negative emissions thereafter.

The Commission’s communication should allow the EU to communicate in early 2025, before CoP30 – to be held that year in Brazil – a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) with the European ambition to 2035. Furthermore, an ambitious target will also contribute to the phasing out of fossil fuels.

Transition with social justice
“To lead the way we must guarantee that climate action is an opportunity for everyone,” say Vice President Ribera and the rest of her partners. “Therefore,” they continue, “the green transition must remain economically viable, have manageable costs and leave no one behind, especially the most vulnerable citizens.”

Ambitious climate action – the signatories maintain – will make it possible to benefit from the synergies between environmental policies and priorities, as well as reduce future climate impacts, particularly on the most vulnerable. Therefore, supporting the green transition and addressing distributional effects must be a priority.

Meeting climate objectives efficiently (in terms of costs) is essential for economic growth, energy security and increasing the EU’s industrial competitiveness, according to the signatories, who maintain that it will also be key to safeguarding the resilience of the EU to fully exploit the benefits of the green transition through rules-based trade and the strengthening of European open strategic autonomy will also be key, in addition to providing a competitive advantage on a global scale.

The letter concludes with two strong ideas: (1) this letter “will send a strong signal to the market to increase domestic development and manufacturing of net zero emissions technologies in the EU, paving the way to increase competitiveness and making the EU the most attractive center for the development and production of net zero emissions technologies.” And (2), everything proposed “will bring multiple benefits to citizens, including a healthier environment and future-proof employment opportunities in sectors and ecological industries”.

The letter is titled as follows:: Joint call for an ambitious EU 20240 climate target 

Source: Energias-Renovables


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