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S&Ds: To reduce drought in Europe we need to speed up Fit for 55 and climate ambitions


16 Sep 2022


Climate & Environment

This summer was a strong reminder that we need to step-up our ambition on tackling the climate crisis and getting a progressive Fit for 55 package. This is the message the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament want to convey to the European leaders, through the motion for resolution on ´the consequences of drought, fire, and other extreme weather phenomena: increasing EU’s efforts to fight climate change´.

S&D coordinator in the environment committee, Tiemo Wölken MEP, said:

“We need to stop just counting every year the damages, casualties and the extreme consequences caused in Europe by drought, and be consistent with all the commitments to reach the climate neutrality target by 2050 at the latest and enhance the ambition for 2030 with the Fit for 55 negotiations.

“The current drought emergency is the worst in 500 years as reported by the European Drought Observatory and it has a dramatic negative impact to our health, forests, biodiversity and economy.

“There are no easy shortcuts. Changed precipitation patterns and the warming of the planet multiply the probability of droughts, heat waves and other extreme temperature phenomena. The current energy crisis should be seen as an opportunity to speed up on the Fit for 55 package to achieve as soon as possible the reduction of at least 55% of Greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990, as obliged by the European Climate Law.

“We certainly shouldn’t turn back the clock by accepting polluting solutions that would just worsen the situation.

“The path has been traced out. If we want to eventually stop tackling the extreme consequences of drought, it is high time we all walk the walk.”

S&D coordinator in the agriculture committee, Clara Aguilera MEP, added:

“This summer’s drought is likely to be repeated annually. The heat wave has been accompanied by a large number of fires, especially in Spain, with around 300,000 hectares burned. Another worrying situation is the tremendous drought that is hitting the continent.

“It is also worth noting that many European farmers are finding it difficult to cultivate due to drought.

“If it does not rain soon in agricultural areas, it is possible that there will be less food production in the coming seasons. The drought, the worst in the last 500 years, is massively devastating crop yields across Europe. This could affect food security in the EU.

“We need to stop the abandonment of rural areas and invest in modern and efficient irrigation systems and greater planning to be able to face the impact of drought.”