EU Environment Council: Europe must confirm and expand its commitment to combat climate change

Brussels, 14/10/2010

In the context of the ongoing international negotiations, the European Union needs to take initiatives at the 2010 talks and play its role to the full, with the aim of securing serious commitments on ambitious target figures. Its current position of not raising its emissions reduction commitment to 30% until other countries express the political will to take domestic measures with respect to the Copenhagen Accord should be revised without delay in terms of the evolution of the context. There is a need for an 85% reduction in GHG emissions by 2050, which implies a corresponding reduction by 2020 of at least 25 to 40% in the industrialised countries, from 1990 emissions levels.
On international financial commitments, Europe must see to it that the funds to be allocated urgently is distributed as soon as possible in 2010 among the less developed countries, taking into account the criteria of transparency, participation and a just transition.
ETUC Deputy General Secretary Joël Decaillon adds that Europe must guarantee a just transition to a low-carbon economy, the pillars of which should be: dialogue between the public authorities and the principal players, including the social partners; green and decent jobs through investments in (new) low-carbon technologies; active training and skills development strategies for the benefit of a low-carbon economy that makes efficient use of resources, at the initiative of the public authorities; respect for human rights and labour legislation; strong and effective social protection systems.
Europe also needs to increase its contribution, through funds to be released from 2020, to help finance the global reduction in climate change, and combine the fight against climate change with the fight against poverty and social inequalities. It should put in place appropriate financial mechanisms for this purpose, in particular a tax on financial transactions.

- Resolution on a Sustainable New Deal for Europe and towards Cancun : http://www.etuc.org/a/7743

14.10.2010
Press release