Climate targets spread across the world, but not bold enough yet

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The Synthesis report on the aggregate effect of INDCs report assessing countries’ contributions to the Paris climate agreement released today by the UNFCCC sets off alarm bells for all governments to strengthen current, inadequate climate targets before they are put into effect and at latest by 2018.

The report confirms that current commitments are too low to keep temperature rise below the agreed two degrees threshold and without an upgrade would not prevent catastrophic climate change impacts already in this century.

“Almost all countries have joined the race to set climate targets, because political leaders can no longer afford to ignore the benefits of the transition away from fossil fuels,” Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network Europe said. “However, the pledges are not bold enough yet. The UN report clearly shows that all countries need to urgently agree to ramp up the ambition of our climate targets. Unfortunately, EU leaders are missing the opportunity to take a leadership role in setting an ambitious timeline for the review.”

CAN Europe calls on the EU to strongly advocate for the revision of the current inadequate targets to start just after the Paris summit and to be concluded by at latest 2018. This timeline should guarantee that new, improved targets would be in place already in 2020.

The UNFCCC report on the INDCs shows also that a lot of poor countries, which are not responsible for the climate crisis, are willing to contribute to emission cuts. Many have also offered to increase their efforts further if they receive international support. In order to empower them to pursue development pathways that leapfrog the use of dirty and polluting energy, EU governments need to develop a strong climate finance package for the period after 2020. The upcoming EU Finance Ministers Council of November 10th, which will discuss preparations for the Paris Summit, is an excellent opportunity for the EU to come up with a comprehensive offer on climate finance.