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PES welcomes UN call for urgent climate action


09 Oct 2018


Climate & Environment

The PES fully supports the conclusions of the scientists at the United Nations on the measures needed to slow down global warming. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations’ scientific advisory council on climate change, today published its “1.5 degrees Celsius report”. This report summarises the state of the art scientific research on the feasibility of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial levels and presents the benefits of the 1.5 degrees limit compared to the previous 2 degrees Celsius target. 

Sergei Stanishev, President of the Party of European Socialists, said:

“Climate change has reached our everyday lives. We all have felt weather anomalies this summer, farmers suffer from crop failures, and forests in Europe, from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean, were ravaged by wildfires. With this IPCC report we now have the scientific evidence: Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius will bring environmental, social and economic advantages compared to a temperature rise of 2 degrees. Global efforts must now aim at halting global warming to maximum 1.5 degrees. The report also stresses that the current climate pledges of the world community are insufficient to restrict warming to 1.5 degrees – or even 2 degrees. We share the IPCC’s belief that there is still hope if the world shows more devotion and ambition.  

That is why we as European Socialists and Democrats want the EU to be a role model and to increase its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 2030, up from its current aim of “at least 40”. Moreover, the EU should update its long-term decarbonisation strategy. The EU’s current 2050 decarbonisation roadmap, with its aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050, is outdated. The EU needs to reach net-zero emissions by the middle of the century. This would also be a good signal ahead of the next UN climate conference, COP24 in Katowice, to motivate other states to follow suit. 

I am delighted to see that the report also stresses that climate policy needs to be accompanied by a social agenda to mitigate its impacts on people’s everyday lives. As PES we have for a long time been calling to address the issue of rising energy prices by fighting energy poverty, and to organise a just transition to a cleaner energy system, to support workers, communities and industries affected by the transformational change.”