Gathering in Paris on 25 April on the sidelines of the “2050 Pathways Platform” meeting, the ministers in charge of Climate change of France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Portugal, Germany and Luxembourg recognised the importance of an ambitious long term EU climate policy in line with Paris Agreement.
The 2050 pathway platform is a multi-stakeholder initiative launched at COP 22 by High-Level Climate Champions, Laurence Tubiana and Hakima El Haite, to support countries seeking to develop long-term, net zero-GHG, climate-resilient and sustainable-development pathways.
"...Enhanced action by all countries is urgent and necessary for respecting the Paris Agreement long term goals. The European Union must keep its climate leadership and show its ability to mobilise all Parties to the Agreement in the fight against climate change."
The Paris Agreement, reached in 2015, aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The European Council, on 22 March, called on the European Commission to prepare a long term strategy by, at the latest, the first quarter of 2019.
Brune Poirson for France, Eva Svedling for Sweden, Eric Wiebes for The Netherlands, Kimmo Tiilikainen for Finland, José Mendes for Portugal, André Weidenhaupt for Luxembourg and Karsten Sach for Germany, called for this strategy to consider raised levels of ambition of the EU and to present pathways, towards net zero GHG emissions in accordance with the Paris agreement, including intermediary steps, which should also contribute to achieving the UN’s 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
André Weidenhaupt, Director general, Ministry for Sustainable development and Infrastructure, Luxembourg, noted:
"The EU needs a long-term climate strategy consistent with the ambition level in the Paris Agreement. In this perspective there is the need to mainstream climate action into all relevant EU policies and the next Multiannual Financial Framework. Enabling EU policies, such as the “clean energy package”, in particular the renewable energy and energy efficiency directives, vehicles and products standards, will contribute in this perspective."
A cornerstone of EU's climate policy should remain the enhancement of the EU emission trading scheme (ETS), added Mr. Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing, Finland.
France, on its part, is implementing new policies for a fair and ecological transition and is currently revising its national long-term strategy to aim at carbon neutrality at horizon 2050, according to Brune Poirson, Secretary of State attached to the Minister of State, Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition.
Eva Svedling, State Secretary for Climate, Sweden, stated:
"Science tells us we only have a few years to respond forcefully in order to avoid the most devastating effects of climate change...the EU should set a target for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, or even earlier if science shows that it is needed."