Businesses, investors, civil society launch call for strong EU 2050 climate strategies

Over 30 groups including business, civil society, investors and trade unions have today launched a joint statement in support of strong 2050 climate strategies. They call on the EU to make long-term climate strategies compulsory in the Energy Union governance regulation, and to provide guidance to help Member States make their strategies as effective as possible.


“We believe that long-term climate 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”, the statement says.

“To have a fighting chance of upholding the Paris Agreement, and its commitment to work to keep global temperature rise to 1.5°C, the EU needs to be carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest. Ambitious and effective national strategies are critical for achieving this goal,” said Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF European Policy Office.

“The upcoming votes in the EU Parliament are key to beefing up the 2050 planning elements of the Energy Union governance proposal with guidance for Member States. This way we can ensure all EU countries deliver the strong climate strategies that businesses, investors, trade unions and civil society want,” Lübbeke added.

Specifically, the joint statement calls for strategies to:

  • Be consistent with the Paris Agreement, aiming for EU carbon neutrality by 2050, with legally binding 2050 targets

  • Be reviewed regularly and revised upwards in line with science

  • Cover all sources of and sinks for greenhouse gas emissions

  • Be open and transparent, detailing timing, funding and responsibilities

  • Be a basis for shorter term plans

Watch the video statement of Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF European Policy Office.

The joint statement is open for additional organisations to sign up. Contact Leia Achampong

The Paris Agreement requires all signatories to come up with mid-century decarbonisation plans. In the EU, this will be transposed into the Energy Union governance regulation. However, the proposed regulation is too weak. The joint statement calls on the EU to ensure strong climate strategies are made legally binding in the new Energy Union governance regulation, and that the regulation contains guidance for Member States on how to make a good 2050 strategy.

The European parliament will vote on the governance regulation proposal in committee on 7 December.

The signatory groups have been brought together via WWF’s EU LIFE and MAVA-funded MaxiMiseR project.

See the joint statement

Quotes from signatories:

”We see that climate change is developing in line with the worst case scenarios of the IPCC forecasts. To avoid disaster society has to become carbon neutral towards the mid of this century and carbon negative in the decades thereafter. It is important that politicians set strict carbon reduction goals and develop a clear framework. This will enable each of us, companies, cities, individuals to make long term plans and will give us security and stability. This will also make it much more difficult for shortsighted companies and individuals to fill their own pockets at the expense of future generations.” Steven Vanholme, EKOenergy

"Investors, along with leading businesses and NGOs, recognise the urgent need for the EU and its Member States to put in place ambitious, dredible 2050 decarbonisation strategies. Such a framework for the EU's energy laws will send the right policy signals to mobilise the trillions in capiral required to support the low-carbon transition." Stephanie Pfeifer, IIGCC

"Politicians do much when it comes to climate change, but the fact is that they only have their power as long as they are mandated. The urgency of the climate crisis and the longer perspectives needed is where we as young members of the civil society can help by pointing towards the long-term goals and remind the people in power of said goals: a sustainable society for all alive today and also for the future generations to come." Madeleine Norman, Push Sweden

WWF Webinar - How to produce long-term decarbonisation strategies

We are pleased to invite you to join our WWF MaxiMiseR webinar, How to produce long-term decarbonisation strategies, to be held on Wednesday, October 18th 2017, from 15:00 - 16:00 CEST.

Register here

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There will be 3 short presentations followed by a Q&A.


  • Ophelie Risler, Head of Climate Change department at the French Ministère de la Transition Écologique et Solidaire
  • Marianne Karlsen, Senior Adviser, Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, Department for Climate Change
  • Adam White, Senior Research Coordinator,  WWF European Policy Office
  • Kakhaberi Mdivani,  Chief Specialist of Climate Change Division of Integrated Management Department


    • Dr Tamara Inkster-Draper, Policy Project Manager, The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group/ University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership 

    Beyond government: bringing stakeholders together on 2050 climate strategies

    Getting citizens and businesses involved in long-term climate plans can make a huge difference to their success. That was the resounding message to come out of the MaxiMiseR project’s second round-table, on stakeholder involvement, which took place on 26 September

    Photo: WWF

    Photo: WWF

    “Research from OECD countries shows that where there is good public participation in policy development, the outcomes are far improved and the cost of implementing those policies is reduced”, explained Dr. Gillian Nelson, Policy Coordinator at Climate Action Network International.

    But to ensure this participation occurs, the process must be clearly outlined from the beginning and communicated throughout, said Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF European Policy Office.

    This was a lesson learned by the German government, according to Luisa Rölke, Head of Division  at the German Permanent Representation to the EU. She explained that her government’s recent consultation on its 2050 climate plan revealed that citizens and local communities were not familiar with the consultation process. So, while some groups agreed on specific measures, they were unaware that the input from other stakeholder groups, and the transformation into a government  strategy meant some of their ideas were not taken up.

    But including the public in the development and implementation of these plans is not just a nice-to-have, it is part of citizens’ rights under the Aarhus Convention, explained Marta Toporek, Lawyer and project leader at ClientEarth.

    “Under the Convention, the public should be consulted early in the process of developing plans, have reasonable time to participate, and due account must be taken of the outcome of the consultation”, she explained.  

    One way of reaching citizens is setting up actions closer to home, for example at local or city level. Cities around the world have become leading actors on climate change, with over 1,000 already having put forward 2030 climate & energy saving plans and set emissions reductions targets, pointed out Alix Bolle, EU Affairs Manager at Energy Cities.

    Canddie Magdelenat , Sustainable Cities Officer at WWF France, agreed. She gave the example of Rouen in France, which set targets for emissions reduction in sectors, such as buildings and transport with the help of stakeholder groups WWF France set up.

    At EU level, the Energy Union governance proposal is a key chance to strengthen national climate strategies for 2050, and push for guidance to be provided for Member States on what their strategies should contain, pointed out WWF’s Imke Lübbeke. The proposal will be put to a first Parliamentary vote on 28 November.

    For more information and upcoming events contact Leia 

    Photo: WWF

    Photo: WWF

    Join the call for strong 2050 climate strategies!

    Businesses, civil society, investors, public authorities and trade unions are joining the call for strong 2050 climate strategies!

    They all believe that 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.

    The Paris Agreement asks all countries to produce ‘long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies’. The European Commission has sought to reflect this in its proposal on Energy Union Governance.

    Those supporting the joint statement believe that these long-term strategies are an essential part of the EU’s response to the climate change challenge.

    They agree that these strategies should provide long term policy certainty for investors. The strategies should 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 statement calls on the EU and its Member States to ensure that their 2050 strategies are as strong as possible, in a number of ways. Read the full statement.

    26 Sep, event: Ensuring all voices are heard

    How to involve stakeholders in the development of 2050 climate strategies

    Photos: Kateryna Kurakina

    Photos: Kateryna Kurakina

    You are invited to a round-table on stakeholder involvement in 2050 climate strategies on Tuesday, September 26th from 9:30am-11am CEST at our offices (Rue du Commerce 123, 1000 Brussels). 

    Register now to attend the event by emailing Leia Achampong
    Register now for the livestream

    The event will focus on the benefits and challenges that stakeholder involvement can bring to a strategy’s development and implementation process. Experiences from countries and cities will  be shared.


    • Dr Gillian Nelson, Climate Action Network (International), Policy Coordinator
    • Marta Toporek, ClientEarth, Lawyer/Project leader
    • Luisa Rölke, German Permanent Representation to the EU, Head of Division 
    • Canddie Magdelenat, WWF One Planet City Challenge, Sustainable Cities Officer, France
    • Alix Bolle, Energy Cities, EU Affairs Manager


    • Imke Lübbeke, WWF European Policy Office, Head of Climate and Energy

    This roundtable is possible due to funding from the EU LIFE Programme for the Environment and the MAVA Foundation. Register now.