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European Parliament backs more climate action

14 March 2019
by greenpeace -- last modified 14 March 2019

The European Parliament has endorsed the European Commission's plan to reduce the EU’s net greenhouse gas emissions and called for EU emissions to fall to zero as soon as possible, but by 2050 at the latest. MEPs also backed an increase of the EU's 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target from 40% to 55% (compared to 1990 levels).


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Greenpeace EU climate policy adviser Sebastian Mang said: "Now only national governments stand in the way of the EU increasing climate action. Protests across Europe show that people want politicians to tackle climate change. The EU Parliament gets the message. With European and national elections around the corner, governments would be foolish to ignore the groundswell."

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets on 15 March to call for political action on climate change, with protests planned in every EU country and around the world. This global mobilisation has emerged out of hundreds of marches and grassroots climate strikes by schoolchildren and students.

In November 2018, the European Commission tabled a decarbonisation plan that would require the European Union to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Greenpeace has called for full EU decarbonisation by 2040 to avoid climate breakdown and comply with the UN's Paris climate agreement.

Several governments, including Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Luxembourg, France and the Netherlands, want the EU to bring its climate action in line with the UN's Paris climate agreement. Other EU countries, like Germany, Poland, Romania, Czech Republic and Bulgaria, oppose an immediate revision of greenhouse gas reduction targets that would limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and avoid total climate breakdown.

The EU decarbonisation plan will also be on the agenda when European heads of government meet in Brussels on 21-22 March.

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning network that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties.

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