EU lawmakers want to make EU member states and the EU Commission adhere to stricter environmental regulations ahead of United Nations climate talks that are to take place in December in the Polish town of Katowice. The EU’s environment ministers earlier this month agreed on a common position that the bloc would “communicate or update” its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) – the target decrease of greenhouse gases by each member states by 2020.
European lawyers issued a non-binding resolution in which they called for concrete targets, recommending member states to set an NDC of at least 55 percent by 2030 to work towards the Earth’s long-term temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius. “It is very important because this is the position of the parliament toward Katowice,” said Bas Eickhout, a Green lawmaker who shepherded the resolution through the legislature. “It is a very important signal.”
Raising the NDC, however, requires an approval of all 28 EU countries. Earlier in October, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that the world would have to make “unprecedented changes” to meet the targeted 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. The IPCC, however, added that meeting this target would bring “clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems”.
A recent resolution passed by the EU Parliament also called on the EU to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The resolution was passed after the EU auditor had reported the bloc’s funding programs for the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) had not lived up to their promise. CCS traps, transports and buries CO2 – the main greenhouse gas. Brussels launched two such programs in 2009 and only one project was completed.