Published: Thu, 15 October 2015
The European Parliament last night (Wednesday) adopted its position ahead of the upcoming 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP21. The adopted document will now give a mandate to the Parliamentary delegation that will travel to December’s conference in Paris to put their mark on the Global Agreement that is expected to be reached.
This agreement, which is expected to be finalised in Paris, will aim to put the world on track to achieve its objective of limiting dangerous rises in global average temperature to below 2oC compared with pre-industrial levels – the 2oC Objective.
One member of the Parliament’s delegation will be MEP for Ireland South, Seán Kelly, who for the past number of months has lead Climate Change negotiations in the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). Speaking in Brussels last night, the Fine Gael MEP was quick to welcome the adoption of the document:
“I’m delighted that my colleagues in the European Parliament have adopted this balanced yet ambitious position that we have worked so hard to formulate. This position now gives us a strong mandate to ensure that the voice of the European Parliament and, hence, the citizens of the EU are heard in these talks; talks that are critical for the future of our planet and economy”.
The Kerry MEP highlighted to his colleagues the urgent need to tackle the Global Warming problem, calling for ambition in the fight against it:
“It is absolutely vital that we reach an ambitious agreement in Paris – this is unquestionable. As it stands, we are heading towards a situation in which severe and irreversible damage will be done to our planet due to dangerous rises in global temperatures. Urgent action is needed.
“What, for instance, would rising sea levels due to the melting of the polar ice caps mean for our beautiful coastal areas? What would it mean for Ventry? For Doonbeg? For Baltimore? For Tramore? For Carne? For Greystones? It would be detrimental; Ireland’s southern counties know only too well the need for urgent action”
Mr. Kelly was keen to stress, however, that Carbon Leakage – the situation in which, as a result of stringent climate policies, businesses transfer production to other parts of the world with laxer constraints on Greenhouse Gas emissions. He called for other big global emitters to match the ambition that has been shown by the European Union:
“At the same time, we must not fail to consider the parallel challenges we face. We must ensure competitiveness, keep jobs in Europe, maintain the economic recovery, and meet the increased demand for food production. For this reason, it is essential that this agreement is binding and global”
“In Europe we have some of the most efficient processes in the world, particularly agricultural processes. We cannot have a situation in which these processes are displaced to less efficient systems elsewhere, resulting in a more severe impact on global emissions, and rendering the massive efforts we have made in Europe worthless.
“Other big emitters need to match EU climate ambition and I will fight to ensure that this is the case in December”, he concluded.