Sweden demands that the EU raise the bar ahead of Climate Change Conference in Glasgow
In a letter to the European Commission, Sweden and eleven other EU Member States call on the Commission to propose how the EU can show leadership in the climate transition and step up ambitions ahead of and during the UN Climate Change Conference at the end of the year.
On 9–19 November 2020, the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) will be held in Glasgow, UK. Ahead of the meeting, all the countries of the world have been asked to produce revised nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. If the world is to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees, it is important that the new NDCs scale up climate action ambitions.
To pursue this aim, Sweden, along with eleven other countries, has written to European Commissioner Frans Timmermans. In the letter, the countries ask that the Commission present its 2030 Climate Target Plan as soon as possible.
“The world needs strong climate leadership, and the EU has a responsibility to use the existing positive climate momentum to raise the bar. For maximum impact, it needs to be announced in good time ahead of COP26 in Glasgow,” says Minister for Environment and Climate Isabella Lövin.
All parties to the Paris Agreement have NDCs that they are expected to live up to. The EU has joint NDCs, with targets to be achieved by 2030. The European Commission has announced that later this year it will present an impact-assessed plan to increase the EU’s emissions reductions target to at least 50 per cent (and towards 55 per cent) compared with 1990 levels by 2030. Sweden wants the Commission’s plan to be presented as soon as possible, and no later than June 2020, to allow a decision on the EU’s revised NDCs to be made in good time before COP26 in Glasgow. This is important so that the EU can influence other countries to raise their climate ambitions.
The signatories of the letter to Commissioner Timmermans are Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Under the EU’s current NDCs, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by at least 40 per cent compared with 1990 levels by 2030. With current climate and energy-related legislation, it is estimated that the EU’s emissions will be reduced by 46–50 per cent.
Sweden considers that the EU’s climate target for 2030 should be tightened to a reduction of at least 55 per cent and be in line with the 1.5-degree target in the Paris Agreement.
At the European Council Summit in December 2019, the EU’s heads of state or government decided that the EU should be climate-neutral by 2050. The Council also invited the European Commission to present its draft revised NDCs in good time ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, after first presenting its impact analysis of tighter climate targets.