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COP21 climate change talks: MEPs in Paris to push for 2°C target


A delegation of 15 MEPs will take part in the UN climate conference in Paris, France, from Monday to Friday. The European Parliament says that the 2015 Protocol must be legally binding and ambitious from the outset, with five-year commitment periods. In a resolution voted in October, MEPs also proposed that a share of revenues from the EU carbon market allowances should be earmarked for climate finance, and that aviation and shipping sectors should initiate measures to curb their emissions.

During the week, delegation MEPs will meet, among others, UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chair Mr Hoesung Lee, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner, and Ms Hela Cheikhrouhou, Green Climate Fund (GCF) Executive Director. They will talk to key negotiators and meet counterparts from other parliaments, as well as local and international NGOs, industrial stakeholders, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and International Maritime Organization (IMO) representatives.

In Paris, our challenge will be to help build trust between all Parties. We all need this agreement to happen, but not any agreement”, said Environment Committee Chair Giovanni La Via (EPP, IT). “First and foremost, the 2-degree target. We want to ensure that the agreement will be binding, with a review clause every five years, allowing us to raise our ambition over time”, he said.

“The European Union must not be the only one to implement high standards for companies. Efforts must be shared by all, if needed by helping other countries get access to cleaner technologies more quickly” he continued.

"Also, finance will once again be the deal maker – or the deal killer. For us, climate finance should be dealt with as a dynamic element, and reflect changing environmental and economic realities. All parties who are in a position to do so should contribute, under a robust monitoring framework”, he concluded..

Sean Kelly (EPP, IE) said "We have spoken all week about ambition, we have heard world leaders give rousing speeches about this great global challenge that we face. If we are to match this ambition on paper, and give a strong signal to investors while being realistic in our approach, I believe the third option should be the one we finally agree on.

"I call on my fellow participants to be courageous in their ambition and put us on a sustainable path towards a low carbon economy,"

“Europe is facing an uphill struggle” said Delegation Vice-Chair Matthias Groote (S&D, DE). “Worldwide, we are already facing some 20 million refugees and there are more to come. An Oxford University study estimates that up to 200 million climate refugees will be on the move by 2050. We have to act together now. Consistency of action and strong policies are paramount”, he said.

“By further strengthening the Emissions Trading System (ETS) through the introduction of instruments like the backloading of allowances and the Market Stability Reserve, the European Parliament sent a clear message ahead of the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris”, he added.

Press conference, EP side event

Delegation Chair Giovanni La Via will hold a joint press conference with EU Climate and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete on Wednesday, 9 December at 11.30. The event will be web-streamed. The delegation will also hold a “side event” with high-level panellists on Global market-based mechanisms for reducing emissions from aviation and shipping, on the same day, at 12.30.

Delegation members

  1. Mr Giovanni LA VIA (EPP, IT) Chair
  2. Mr Matthias GROOTE (S&D, DE) Vice-Chair
  4. Ms Françoise GROSSETÊTE (EPP, FR)
  5. Mr Seán KELLY (EPP, IE)
  6. Ms Kathleen VAN BREMPT (S&D, BE)
  7. Mr Gilles PARGNEAUX (S&D, FR)
  8. Ms Miriam DALLI (S&D, MT)
  9. Mr Ian DUNCAN (ECR, UK)
  10. Mr Bolesław PIECHA (ECR, PL)
  11. Mr Gerben-Jan GERBRANDY (ALDE, NL)
  12. Ms Anne-Marie MINEUR (GUE/NGL, NL)
  13. Mr Yannick JADOT (GREENS/EFA, FR)
  14. Mr Marco AFFRONTE (EFDD, IT)
  15. Ms Sylvie GODDYN (ENF, FR)
REF. : 20151203IPR06170
European Parliament resolution: towards a new international climate agreement in Paris
European Parliament at COP21
Delegation members profiles
European Parliament delegation press dossier / English version
European Parliament delegation press dossier / French version