Following the end of COP27 in Sharm el Sheik, the MEPs leading Parliament’s delegation commented on the outcome of the negotiations.
An official delegation from the European Parliament has been in Egypt this week to participate in the UN Climate Change Conference, COP27, taking place in Sharm el Sheik. Delegation Chair Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA, NL) and Vice-Chair Peter Liese (EPP, DE) made the following comments after the agreement was announced.
“Europe had to fight to the end to maintain last year's ambition. But this is insufficient if we want to meet the climate goals. I can therefore only conclude that 2022 has been a lost climate year. On ‘loss and damage’, the EU showed leadership and broke the deadlock by declaring itself in favor of a fund. As a result, the COP achieved something after all," said Bas Eickhout.
“I remain sad that we are so far from achieving the Paris climate goal but I am optimistic that, despite all the prophecies of doom, the multilateral process has not collapsed. There is progress, and hope for more. The EU has presented a good paper for more ambition and support for those suffering from climate change. Crucially, there is also renewed cooperation between the U.S. and China. After our conversation with Chinese negotiator Xie Zhenhua, I witnessed him having a bilateral talk with John Kerry, which is a good sign. However, it is a pity that the EU has not put more resources into preparing its good initiatives more thoroughly. Commission VP Frans Timmermans should work around the clock on international climate negotiations, but he does not have the time. We need a European John Kerry," said Peter Liese.
A press conference with Bas Eickhout and Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans took place on Thursday 17 November. You can watch a recording here.
On Tuesday 15 November, the European Parliament hosted a side event at the EU Pavilion entitled “The Fit for 55 package: new opportunities for multilateral cooperation in terms of global decarbonisation, adaptation and loss & damage”. You can watch a recording here.
Parliament is a co-legislator on the EU energy and climate legislation that seeks to implement the Paris Agreement and it must give its consent before the EU can enter international agreements.
MEPs have been pushing for more ambitious EU climate legislation and declared a climate emergency on 28 November 2019. In June 2021, Parliament adopted the European Climate Law, which transforms the European Green Deal’s political commitment to EU climate neutrality by 2050 into a binding obligation for the EU and member states. It also increases the EU’s target for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 from 40% to at least 55%, compared to 1990 levels.
MEPs are currently negotiating with member states on the “Fit for 55 in 2030 package" in order to enable the EU to reach the more ambitious 2030-target. A political agreement between Parliament and Council has already been made for stricter rules for member states’ greenhouse gas emissions, a zero-emissions target for new cars and vans in 2035 and on the land use, land use change and forestry sector (LULUCF). Negotiations are expected to be finalised on the other files in the coming months.