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COP21 Paris agreement: MEPs hail a new beginning for climate action


The agreement in Paris is an unprecedented breakthrough in the fight against climate change and will have to be followed by concrete policies to achieve the 1,5 degree goal, said the European Parliament delegation to COP21 on Saturday. The Paris agreement would need Parliament’s consent to be ratified by the European Union.

“This agreement represents an unprecedented breakthrough in the fight against climate change, but also a new era in terms of policies” said Environment committee chairman Giovanni La Via (EPP, Italy) after a deal was struck between the 196 parties present in Paris at COP21. “The world is on board, and so is the ambition. We now have to deliver on the concrete policies. This will start in the coming weeks with the reform of the EU carbon market and the new proposals to be published by the European Commission on effort sharing, energy efficiency and renewables” he added.

EP delegation vice-chair Matthias Groote (S&D, Germany) said: “The more ambitious the mitigation target the better. But what is more important is to provide the tools and the finances to make this goal achievable. We also need action in the framework of the International Civil Aviation (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to limit the emissions of international aviation and shipping as they are not covered by the INDCs. We cannot afford to give a free ride to these sectors”.

“An irreversible step towards a low carbon economy”

Leading the EP delegation on Saturday, Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy (ALDE, Netherlands) said: “After all the hard work, this historic climate agreement gives a clear signal that the world has taken an irreversible step towards a low carbon economy. The old ways are over. Investors now have the guarantee that only zero carbon solutions will pay off. Today we should praise this historic deal, but the real work will begin tomorrow" he added.

“A place in History”
“The ambition is there” said EP rapporteur on COP21 Gilles Pargneaux (S&D, France). “Thanks to the efforts of the European union, France and the most vulnerable countries, we reached the objective of limiting climate warming to 1,5 degrees. A few months ago this seemed impossible. We welcome this result, as it was already set out in the European Parliament position, on which I was rapporteur. This 12th of Décember will have a place in History” he added.


The new agreement has as a target limiting global temperature well below 2°C in comparison to pre-industrial levels, while recognising the need to continue efforts to limit temperature increase to 1,5 degrees. It includes a long term target of reaching greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions neutrality in the second half of the century, as well as a 5-year review mechanism for the commitments of States.

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