As Ministers and Heads of State from over 160 countries head to New York for the signing of the historic Paris Agreement this week, the CLG has united its efforts with the European Trade Union Confederation representing 45 million workers in 39 European countries, and Climate Action Network Europe, a coalition of 120 civil society organisations in 30 European countries, to demand that EU legislation agreed this year and in the near future is aligned with the promise the Paris Agreement offers.
Known as the Higher Ambition Coalition, this unprecedented collective of business, workers and civil society aims to ensure that words on the global stage translate to policy action in Europe, leading us to a resilient, economically sound and environmentally safe future.
In Paris, nearly 200 countries came together, united by their commitment to deliver action on climate change. They agreed to deliver a goal of keeping global temperature rise well below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts towards a stronger target of 1.5 degrees. Implementing the Paris Agreement can set in motion the transition to a sustainable global economy, it can contribute to peace and security and help to create a climate safe future that offers jobs, economic growth, healthier communities and the eradication of extreme poverty.
The statement issued by the Higher Ambition Coalition has been signed by over 70 organisations including major businesses, key EU cities, prominent trade unions, and leading NGOs. This unprecedented group has come together in recognition that the agreement struck in Paris in December 2015 is a turning point that requires the EU and the world to step up and raise its ambition. Along with large numbers of counterparts, we are ready to play our part in support of the objectives of the Paris Agreement. To underpin such action, and the investment that goes along with it, a robust European policy framework with strong, economy-wide targets and clear timetables must be developed to drive the EU towards a zero carbon economy.
To show leadership abroad, Europe must commit to tangible action on climate and energy policy at home, including ratification of the Paris Agreement and more. The EU must build on the overachievement of the 2020 emissions reductions target and ensure that 2030 and 2050 greenhouse gas reductions targets are in line with the long term goals of the Paris Agreement. With an ambitious policy framework the EU will see increased returns from investment in key low carbon solutions like the deployment of renewable energy supply and energy efficiency measures, creating a more robust and resilient economy. This is the pathway to deliver a sustainable future. But it requires higher ambition in policy today, locking in opportunity that sets our common direction for a decarbonised, healthy, competitive and socially fair future European economy.