European Parliament sets goals for UN climate summit Glasgow

Plenary session - Climate and ecological emergency

At the UN climate summit in Glasgow in November, the European Parliament's Environment Committee wants the EU to call for the phasing out of subsidies for fossil energy generation altogether.

An ENVI resolution, to be voted on by the full European Parliament this week, is the starting point for the European Parliament's negotiators at that UN summit.

The resolution calls for action to be taken on the promise of rich countries to make $100 billion annually available in climate subsidies to developing countries. Despite lack of support from the Christian Democrats, that proposal also won a majority to completely abolish all fossil subsidies by 2025 at the latest.

The Dutch MEP Bas Eickhout (GroenLinks) would have liked to see even higher European climate targets, but there was no majority for that. Eickhout is part of the European Parliament's negotiating delegation in Glasgow.

The negotiations during the climate summit deal with many technical matters. One of the important points of discussion is the timeline of the climate goals. Countries now have climate targets with different dates for their intermediate target, for example 2025 or 2030.

The debate is whether those targets should be set every five or every ten years. The European Parliament wants these kinds of targets to be set every five years from 2031.

There are big differences between countries. The United Kingdom, Canada and the US are taking relatively large new steps, as is the European Union. But Australia and Indonesia, for example, have simply resubmitted their old climate target.

Then there are countries like Russia and India that set such weak targets that they are above their actual emissions trend. The result is that they do not have to implement a climate policy to achieve their goals and therefore do not achieve a reduction in emissions.