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EU leaders ‘fail to rise to the occasion’ on climate action, despite impact on migration



European leaders meeting in Brussels today for the last European Council before the Paris climate summit in December have missed an opportunity to strengthen the EU’s position for the international climate negotiations.

According to Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, by neglecting the urgency for climate action, they have failed to send the right signal needed for both a stronger agreement in Paris and for tackling future migration challenges.

The European Council has failed to adopt conclusions on, let alone strengthen, the EU’s position for the Paris climate summit. This is despite the fact that it was the last meeting of the European heads of state and government before the climate conference.

It is regrettable that the European leaders do not treat the climate crisis with the seriousness and urgency it deserves – Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe said. The European Council was the opportune moment to decide on how the EU is going to inject ambition into the draft text of the Paris agreement. The EU position for the summit still has important blind spots on how it plans to increase current, inadequate climate targets and deliver its fair share of the $100 billion a year in climate finance promised by 2020.

CAN Europe draws attention to the fact, that without urgent and adequate climate action, people’s lives will be at much greater risk due to climate impacts. This will increase the movement of people in search of safety and a better life in the future.

The current migration crisis should be a wakeup call to urgently tackle climate change – Trio added. If the EU wants to avoid having to deal with one refugee crisis after another, it needs to increase its climate action within the next five years. Between now and 2020 we need to see more efforts to reduce emissions and more money flowing to poor countries to help them deal with the most devastating climate impacts that make people flee their countries.