A crucial European Parliament climate vote on binding annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets for EU countries will take place on Wednesday 14 June. The Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) sets emission reduction targets for Member States for the period 2021–2030 and the rules they must follow to meet them. It includes the transport, buildings, agriculture and waste management sectors, together accounting for almost 60% of total EU emissions.
MEPs will vote on a report adopted last week in Parliament’s Environment committee. Extra amendments have been tabled for the all-MEP vote which could see a weakening of the European Parliament’s leadership in the fight against climate change.
Samuel Lee-Gammage, Policy Officer, RSPB said: “With the announcement of the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, the European Union, as well as many member states such as France and Germany, have claimed that they will take up leadership to ensure that the goals of this crucial agreement are achieved. However, inconsistency between rhetoric and policy action threatens to make hypocrites of European Union member states and of many policymakers.
“Tomorrow the Parliament will vote on the Effort Sharing Regulation, which covers 60% of EU emissions and so is central to fulfilling the Paris Agreement’s goals. However, instead of strengthening the Parliament’s negotiating position, the EPP, ECR, and ALDE have proposed changes that would release an additional 110 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere from sectors covered by the Effort Sharing Regulation – an amount equivalent to 3.5 (500 megawatt) coal power plants running for 10-years, or the annual emissions from 114 million cars.
“These changes will also delay necessary climate action in the agriculture sector, forgoing its potential to reduce EU emissions and the co-benefits this can bring for biodiversity, and storing up even greater challenges for a future in which agriculture must contribute to achieving the Paris Agreement’s goals. At a time in which science shows that even greater climate action is needed to avoid irreversible changes to our planet, we need to be doing everything we can to reduce emissions. These last-minute introductions are shameful and should be opposed by MEPs in the plenary vote tomorrow.”