MEDIA ADVISORY 20 - 21 MARZO
European Heads of State and Government meeting at the European Council
20 and 21 March 2014 in Brussels
On 20 March, European Heads of State and Government will meet to debate the EU climate and energy framework for 2030.
Draft council conclusions indicate that the European Council is only planning to welcome the Commission's white paper as a good basis for work, but delay real decisions until later in the year.
For WWF, this result adds insult to injury: the Commission has watered down ambition in order to win Council approval, which the Council seems reluctant to give.
Failure to make clear decisions by the time of Ban Ki-Moon's Leaders' Summit on Climate Change in September would undermine the EU’s standing and create a negative dynamic in international climate discussions.
There is no reason to wait nor aim so low. The public demands action. A recent Eurobarometer survey reveals that 90% of Europeans consider climate change a serious problem, that 92% think it is important for their governments to provide support for improving energy efficiency by 2030 and that 90% find it important for their government to set targets to increase use of renewables by 2030.
On Thursday, Member State governments must listen to their citizens and show political leadership needed to inspire Europe towards an industrial and economic revolution that will provide for both people and the planet.
WWF is calling for EU targets on greenhouse gas cuts (at least 55%), renewable energy generation (at least 45%), and energy savings (at least 40%), which are legally binding and effort shared between Member States
Tony Long, Director of WWF European Policy Office:
“Delaying any decision on EU climate and energy policies for 2030 is in stark contradiction with what European citizens want. It goes against everything that science has been telling us about the disastrous impacts of climate change. And it is preventing Europe’s needed transition towards an industrial and economic revolution that will provide for both people and the planet.
NOW is the time for EU leaders to be the leaders Europe needs. They need to secure Europe’s future as a world leading sustainable economic power now or risk years of climate inaction, energy sector stagnation and insecurity, and lost social, environmental, and economic opportunities.”
"A low-carbon economy based on renewable energy and energy savings is of primary interest for Italian citizens. As Italy is poor in fossil fuels but rich in sun and wind, it would ensure the country’s energy security. Moreover, the green economy sectors have resisted the economic crisis better than any other traditional sector, but the EU needs to give them a reliable perspective.”, said Mariagrazia Midulla, Head of Climate and Energy Policy at WWF Italy. “In the context of the Italian job crisis, green jobs are the only credible answer, considering that efficiency and renewables are more labour intensive. A set of ambitious targets will also help Italy to have the strategic approach needed to build an innovation-based future."