Upcoming climate summit should recreate success of ozone protection
On the UN International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone*, the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament reiterated their commitment to protecting the environment and promoting sustainable development and economic growth.
At a plenary debate in Strasbourg about the upcoming UN climate summit, which starts on 23 September, the S&D Group encouraged the new European Commission to keep up its global leadership and push for positive change.
S&D MEP and vice-president Kathleen Van Brempt said:
"We need ambitious, enforceable and clear engagements from all world leaders for the Climate Conference in Paris 2015, which might be the last chance if we want to limit global temperature rises to less than 2 degrees Celsius.
"Next week, world leaders will meet in New York for a preparatory meeting. The EU’s responsibility is huge. We need clear goals to reduce emissions in Europe. This must be a wake-up call for the Council to support new and ambitious goals as a part of the 2030 Climate and Energy Package.
"Any reduction below 50% would be a missed opportunity. We in the Socialists and Democrats Group are convinced that 40% improvements in energy efficiency and 30% for renewables are crucial in our battle against climate change.
"This generation should act now in the interests of future generations."
S&D spokesperson on climate, MEP Matthias Groote, said:
"The signature of the Montreal Protocol was the result of a successful effort by the international community to curb chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs) emissions and mitigate damage to the ozone layer – finally creating conditions where the ozone layer can regenerate itself.
"Policy makers should keep such success in mind while negotiating at international climate summits. Only if the international community decides on a way forward together, can their efforts be enough to reduce the impact of, or even reverse, climate change."
Note to editors:
* The UN's International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone commemorates the signing of the Montreal Protocol in 1987 to eliminate those man-made chemicals which deplete the ozone layer. The main dangerous substances phased out under the Montreal Protocol were chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), halons, carbon tetrachloride and methyl bromide. The S&D Group has a strong record on promoting the phasing-out of dangerous gases: