Eight European countries have called for an ambitious strategy to tackle climate change – and to spend a quarter of the entire EU budget on fighting it. The joint statement says the EU should have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 “at the latest”. It was signed by France, Belgium, Denmark, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. The group says their plan can “go hand in hand with prosperity” and “set an example for other countries to follow.”
BBC 8th May 2019 read more »
THE National today joins media outlets across Europe to publish a landmark call for action against climate change. Platforms in 16 European Union states will use 13 languages to run a plea for systematic change on pollution, efficiency and financial regimes in order to combat “the still-worsening triple crisis of climate change, mass extinction and inequality”. Signed by planners, ecologists, energy experts and other scientific and expert voices from academia, civil society and city governments, it calls for a pan-European “sustainability and wellbeing pact” in order to secure coordinate responses. Published as Europe prepares to go to the polls, it aims to make tackling climate change the central issue and show that the threat from rising global temperatures unites the public across borders.
The National 9th May 2019 read more »
THE echo from the streets of Europe and beyond is “system change, not climate change”. When climate activist Greta Thunberg met European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, she told him to talk to the experts, but what should they say? We, system change experts from academia, civil society and cities, have some answers. Last autumn, a group of 238 scientists and 90,000 citizens asked for an end to Europe’s growth dependency and at a Growth in Transition conference in Vienna we made this more concrete. We look beyond increasing GDP towards a positive plan for a post-growth economy. Our three key leverage points on how to launch a transition towards a thriving society within planetary boundaries advise policy-makers at European, national, regional and municipal levels on ways to confront the still worsening triple crisis of climate change, mass extinction and inequality. Let’s be honest. Neither the Paris Agreement nor the Aichi Biodiversity Targets nor the current tax regimes are capable of dealing with these existential threats. As a group of scientists just wrote in Science: “The current measures for protecting the climate and biosphere are deeply inadequate”. Deep changes are not only needed, but also wanted. A recent and massive poll taken all over Europe showed that a majority of Europeans now consider that the environment should be a priority even at the expense of growth. Broad agreement was found on three major systemic changes. These three leaps are not excluding other solutions, but they all three are urgent, possible, needed, wanted and game-changing. They do require a visionary mindset and a can-do attitude. They require a mind shift away from incremental thinking, the mindset that has brought us to this point of crisis. The first major change is to dethrone King GDP and crown Queen Wellbeing. The second major change is from tax havens for the few to redistribution for the many. Tax wealth more and labour less. Tax pollution progressively and stop subsidising it. The last major theme is that efficient products are good and sufficient solutions are great. Efficiency gains are important, but only the beginning of the solution.
The National 9th May 2019 read more »
President Emmanuel Macron of France is to place the environment at the heart of his European election manifesto as his party seeks to overtake the far-Right and drum up interest in a faltering campaign just three weeks before the crunch vote.
Telegraph 8th May 2019 read more »
A paper put together by eight European countries calling on the European Union to “act now” to address climate change has been snubbed by Germany, Italy and Poland, ahead of a summit in Romania this week. The meeting in the Romanian city of Sibiu was originally planned so leaders could chart a course for the EU after Brexit. But with the UK’s EU departure deadline pushed back until the end of October, climate change is now at the top of the agenda. Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden have all called on European heads of state to boost climate action by pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions to a net-zero level “by 2050 at the latest”, and also for the EU to dedicate 25 per cent of the next seven-year budget to projects fighting climate change. Excluding Britain, which is supposedly leaving the EU, and in any case appears set to make similar goals, Germany, Italy and Poland are among the biggest economies in the EU who are conspicuous by not signing the proposals.
Independent 8th May 2019 read more »
The UK will lose more than £1.1bn in revenue as carbon-emitting companies escape paying for the pollution they cause if the country crashes out of the EU without a withdrawal agreement in October, according to Sandbag, a climate policy think-tank. From January, Brussels stopped providing carbon allowances, or credits, to the UK government for auction under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, because of uncertainty around Britain’s position in the bloc. Under the cap and trade programme, the UK government receives millions of carbon allowances each year. Roughly 40 per cent of these are given to high-emitting companies, while the rest are auctioned, with the revenue kept by the Treasury to subsidise climate policies. The government has said that a no-deal Brexit would exclude the UK from participating in the ETS from November.
FT 8th May 2019 read more »