on 25th June 2014

EU leaders need to ramp up action to tackle climate change

Ahead of the EU summit in Brussels this Thursday and Friday, CARE International urges European leaders to respond to the latest scientific and economic findings and take more ambitious decisions to tackle climate change as part of the EU’s new climate and energy package.

“The EU has no excuse for failing to adopt stronger emissions reductions targets, renewable energy increases and improved energy efficiency”, says Sven Harmeling, CARE International’s Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator.

“If the EU wants to be taken seriously as a global climate change champion, and an advocate for the rights of the poor, now is the time for it to unveil an ambitious plan for climate action. However, if it continues to press for domestic emissions reductions of no more than 40% by 2030, as is currently being discussed, the EU will fail to send a clear signal to the international community that there is no time to lose.”

CARE is also calling for stronger, legally binding renewable energy and energy efficiency targets than previously proposed by the EU.

Harmeling adds: “The emissions reductions targets we are calling for are ambitious, but they are feasible. If EU leaders couple ambitious targets with a substantial commitment to finance the Green Climate Fund, they will become a credible voice at the upcoming UN climate summit in New York and a key player on the road towards agreeing a new, effective, global climate treaty in 2015.”

The latest reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) spell out the urgent need for more ambitious action to avoid catastrophic climate change, including the need to begin to phase-out fossil fuel emissions, as well as the myriad opportunities of climate action.

CARE welcomes initial steps taken by countries such as the USA, China and Mexico which have all started to strengthen national climate change policies. Significant progress has also been achieved by kick-starting the Green Climate Fund, likely to be the main source of climate finance to support developing countries. Given these positive signals, CARE’s demands for greater EU ambition on climate change, which CARE’s European directors highlighted in a letter to EU leaders from eight countries in March, are now even more urgent.

CARE’s Sven Harmeling concludes: “In our work supporting the world’s poorest people, we are already seeing how the impacts of climate change are eroding development gains and reversing poverty reduction efforts. People that are already marginalised, such as women and indigenous communities, are suffering the most, despite having done the least to cause the climate problem. This is an extreme global injustice. There is no time to lose to tackle the causes and consequences of climate change. Ambitious action is needed right away.”


For further information or to arrange an interview with Sven Harmeling contact Jo Barrett, Communications Coordinator, Poverty, Environment and Climate Change Network on +44 (0)7940 703911 or jbarrett@careclimatechange.org

Read the full text of the letter sent to European leaders in March by 8 CARE European Directors here: https://careclimatechange.org/files/LetterHeadsofState_EU20301.pdf

CARE is a leading humanitarian organisation fighting global poverty and providing lifesaving assistance in emergencies. In more than 80 countries around the world, CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to help lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. To find out more, visit www.care-international.org or www.careclimatechange.org

In West Hararghe, Ethiopia, erratic and insufficient rains have damaged families crops and livelihoods


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