S&Ds step up climate action and deliver on effort sharing as Trump abandons Paris agreement

S&Ds step up climate action and deliver on effort sharing as Trump abandons Paris agreement, #EuropeTogether, COP21, greenhouse gas emissions, Kathleen Van Brempt, Miriam Dalli, right-wing EPP and ECR groups,

At the Socialists and Democrats request the European Parliament today debated US president Trump’s decision to leave the Paris climate agreement (COP21). In the debate the S&D Group highlighted the need for Europe to take a leading role in the fight against climate change and to strengthen climate alliances with partners around the world. The debate was followed by a vote on effort sharing, a crucial piece of legislation to implement the COP21 agreement, covering 60 % of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions.

An S&D led progressive coalition secured an ambitious and balanced report that will reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in the transport, agriculture and building sectors by 30% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.

Kathleen Van Brempt, S&D vice-president on sustainability and MEP, said:

“President Trump’s announcement to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement sent shockwaves around the world. However, we should not forget that Trump does not represent the American people when it comes to climate change: 71 % of US citizens said it was important to reach a global agreement. While the Trump administration is shifting into reverse gear, many of the cities, states and progressive corporations in the US are actually speeding up their climate policies. The ramped up efforts taken by others in and outside the US, show that Trump’s decision is not the end of the world. It’s rather the end of US supremacy.

“We Europeans should seize the opportunity to work with progressive cities, regions and countries all around the world to build strong alliances with ambitious climate goals. We want the EU to be a climate leader and the effort sharing legislation voted today shows that we remain committed to forcefully tackling climate change.”

Miriam Dalli, MEP, S&D spokesperson on environment and shadow rapporteur on effort sharing, said:

“The European Parliament today backed our proposals to improve the Commission plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport, agriculture, waste and buildings sectors by 30 % by 2030. We need to make sure that EU governments take serious measures to reduce emissions and live up to our commitments under the Paris Agreement. This climate action legislation sets a clear trajectory to 2030 and a longer-term objective up to 2050 to reduce emissions. We also secured more regular compliance checks; every two years, instead of every five years as the Commission proposed, and we aligned the review cycle with the global stocktake of the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

“In spite of strong opposition from the right-wing EPP and ECR groups at committee stage, and their failed attempts to water down the legislation and even split our group, we succeeded in leading a progressive coalition to a balanced and ambitious report. After Trump’s announcement to leave the COP21 it is more important than ever to show that we remain determined to do what is necessary to save the climate and our planet.”