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in support of strong 2050 climate strategies
Signed by businesses, civil society, investors, public authorities and trade unions
Tackling climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face today. If we do not act urgently and ambitiously, the impacts will be catastrophic.
Under the Paris Agreement, countries have committed to keeping global temperature rise to well below 2 °C and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 °C, above pre-industrial levels. The Agreement also invites all countries to produce ‘long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies’, something that the European Commission has sought to reflect in its proposal on Energy Union Governance.
We believe that these long-term strategies are an essential part of the EU’s leadership, and response to the climate change challenge. These strategies should provide long term policy certainty for investors and guide a cost-effective and just transition to prosperous, carbon neutral economies that provide sustainable business opportunities, good jobs, cleaner air and better health for all. The strategies are a crucial means by which we can ensure people are part of this opportunity for economic and societal transformation.
To this end, we call on the EU and its Member States to ensure that their 2050 strategies are as strong as possible, in the following ways:
- Strategies should be consistent with the Paris Agreement’s goals and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We believe the EU should be aiming to be carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest;
- To maximise certainty for investors and society as a whole, Member State 2050 targets should be legally binding, as should the process for developing, implementing, reporting on and reviewing the strategies, and the plans to deliver them;
- Strategies should be reviewed regularly, ideally by an independent body, and revised upwards to reflect the latest climate science and technological advancements;
- Strategies should take a ‘whole economy’ approach that covers all sources and sinks for greenhouse gas emissions and should address broader economic, social and environmental issues;
- Strategies must be developed, implemented and monitored openly and transparently, in partnership with businesses, civil society, employers, investors, trade unions, sub-national, regional and local authorities and other relevant stakeholders, and be publicly available;
- Strategies should clearly state the bodies responsible for delivering them, and the timelines in which they should do so, as well as outline sources of funding;
- Strategies should inform and determine the substance of more detailed shorter term plans, targets and milestones, for example those for 2030.
We also call on the EU institutions to support this endeavour by:
- Embedding these principles in legally-binding form in the new Energy Union Governance Regulation, to ensure that such 2050 strategies are developed and delivered;
- Producing guidance for Member States for their 2050 strategies. The Commission should set an example for Member States in its own revision of the EU’s 2050 roadmap;
- Helping Member States share best practice in order to ensure they all have the strongest strategies possible;
- Urging all countries to develop such strategies, thereby ensuring that this is a global effort, and assisting poorer countries in the development, implementation and monitoring of such strategies.
Email Leia Achampong (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more info on the joint statement and who has signed, or Sarah Azau (email@example.com) for media inquiries. The full list of signatories will be published on 24 October 2017.