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Fighting Climate Change Must Be A Worldwide Effort

20 September 2019
by smeunited -- last modified 10 October 2019

Ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, SMEunited insists on how crucial it is that the European Union’s new efforts to cut GHG emissions be mirrored by all industrialised nations.


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This is the only way to make real progress in the implementation of the Paris agreement and to avoid any backfire on Europe's competitiveness. In this context, SMEunited recalls that SMEs have a key role in the decarbonisation of the EU and urges that the Green Deal provide the right framework to make this possible.

"It is essential that the new efforts the EU is going to propose to fight climate change be followed by the other major emitters worldwide." This is one of the key messages underlined by SMEunited President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller ahead of the Climate Action Summit organised in New York by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on 23rd September. Currently, the EU has to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% for 2030.

"The to-be-proposed additional reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for the EU from 40% to 55% entails massive efforts and will not solve the problem if the other main emitters do not adopt similar measures. Climate change needs to be tackled globally. Furthermore, such important efforts without a steady increase of climate ambitions across the globe might result in a challenge for Europe's competitiveness."

Referring to the new Commission's initiatives in this field, Ms Rabmer-Koller recalled that businesses, and particularly SMEs, are not part of the problem, but one of the main keys to Europe's decarbonisation efforts to implement the Paris agreement: "Due to their role as main source of growth, jobs and social cohesion, no strategy to fight climate change is going to be successful without SMEs!"

Therefore, she pointed out that "the Green Deal will, on the one hand, have to make sure that eco-friendly SMEs keep innovating and successfully developing new technologies to give the EU a competitive edge worldwide. On the other hand, it will have to provide the right political and legislative framework for the big bulk of SMEs to move to more circular and carbon neutral business models. This includes information, technical assistance, easier access to finance for the upfront investments, reskilling and upskilling of their work force as well as capacity building of SME organisations, particularly at local level."

SMEunited is the association of Crafts and SMEs in Europe with around 70 member organisations from over 30 European countries. SMEunited represents national cross-sectoral Craft and SME federations, European SME branch organisations and associate members. Combined, it represents more than 12 million enterprises with around 55 million employees across Europe. SMEunited is also a recognised employers' organisation and European Social Partner. SMEunited was formally known as UEAPME.

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