“We believe it is high time for European leaders to rise up to the challenge of climate action. We need Europe to transition to a sustainable society and economy as soon as possible.”
This is the message from a unique gathering of businesses, investor groups, local and regional authorities, trade unions and civil society groups, standing together as the Coalition for Higher Ambition. It is being sent today in support of last week’s unprecedented mobilisation of citizens across EU member states calling for increased action against climate change.
The statement also comes prior to the European Council on 21 and 22 March, where EU Heads of State and Government are expected to discuss the EU’s draft long-term climate vision.
The stakeholders urge EU leaders to:
endorse the objective of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the latest as part of the future of Europe debate, at the special EU Summit in Sibiu in May 2019;
raise the 2030 climate target in line with the net zero emissions by 2050 target, and announce its readiness to do so at the latest during the UN Climate Change Summit in New York in September 2019.
Anna Lisa Boni, Secretary General, Eurocities said:
“Cities are making ambitious plans at the local level in tandem with citizens, businesses and civil society to limit global warming to below 1.5C degrees. We demand that national and European leaders show a higher level of ambition too. Now even young people are marching to tell you this same message – what else do you need? Give cities a seat at the table, and together let’s ensure an EU long term strategy that clears a pathway towards a climate neutral Europe by 2050.”
Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network Europe said:
“Together we all call for a future safe from the climate breakdown, and an economy that works for people and the planet, with green jobs, clean air, and prosperous communities. We expect EU leaders to signal their support for higher EU climate targets. They need to work towards taking a decision on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero as soon as possible, and massively scaling up emission cuts by 2030.”
Eliot Whittington, Director, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group said:
“If the EU is to maintain its reputation for climate leadership and status as a pioneer for policy innovation it must set out its ambition to achieve net zero emissions before 2050 and update its 2030 climate targets accordingly. European Member States should seize the opportunity to endorse a vision for a climate neutral Europe. Bold leadership from government will trigger investment and innovation from business. Now is the time to build on this unprecedented support from business, civil society, local and regional government, and rise to the challenge by leading the world towards a sustainable and prosperous future.
You can read the full letter with list of signatories here: Coalition_March_EUCO_Open_Letter_FINAL