Resolution adopted at Zagreb Council, 15-17 May 2015
The full text can be downloaded in .pdf here.
2015 is a crucial year for the international fight against the climate crisis. At the COP21 climate conference in Paris in December, the United Nations will strive to formulate a global agreement to limit the catastrophic consequences of climate change. In the run-up to the conference, member state governments and the EU will be under intense scrutiny to put forward credible climate policies. We as European Greens challenge them to seize the Paris moment.
The severe consequences of the climate crisis are already felt today in the form of withered crops, dangerous floods and intense hurricanes. Its severe consequences are especially crippling for the poor and most vulnerable. That is why it is imperative to act now.
We Greens will mobilize for creative protests at the COP21 and the preceding G7 summit in Elmau. We will join a broad and diverse climate movement in demanding ambitious action. We fight for a fair, strong and legally binding global climate agreement and its effective implementation in line with the goal of limiting the rise of global temperatures to 2 degrees or less. This agreement must be based on the principle of equity, sharing the burden and taking into account the differences in historical responsibility and the economic context between the global north and south.
We urge the Luxembourgish Presidency of the EU Council in December 2015, the French Presidency of COP21 and the German G7-Presidency to show commitment and leadership. It is crucial for the EU to provide and enable policies for energy transition. Fossil fuel subsidies should be phased out and either used to finance the energy transition instead or added to the Green Climate Fund. We encourage Greens from all over Europe to promote and support an active divestment from fossil fuels and nuclear energy on all levels.
We propose an alternative to the current market mechanisms, where offsetting will be excluded, while respecting the limits of a carbon budget. The agreement will reflect the need to protect human rights, an element which current mechanisms are failing to safeguard and monitor. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have been given nearly 20 years to cut emissions from their respective sectors, but thus far failed to put adequate measures in place. COP21 therefore has to set binding reduction targets for international aviation and maritime transport.
Adaptation is essential. The Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States, that are most in need, should be given flexibility on their obligations. The new agreement also needs to include ‘Loss & Damage’ as a specific point, and not as part of an adaptation. The ‘Warsaw International Mechanism’ needs to be used as a platform beyond 2016, to elaborate further elements on Loss & Damage.
New and specifically targeted financial commitments from relevant parties are urgently needed. The ‘Green Climate Fund’ needs to be filled. But the overall level of additional climate financing must exceed 100 billion US dollars annually. Greens will put pressure on European Governments to contribute adequately to this need. We oppose fracking and so called clean coal, so EU must not finance it through this facility [GCF]. There should be fair and even division between mitigation, Loss & Damage and adaptation. European Greens consider it of high priority to push back against fossil energy interest. The so-called “carbon majors” are the most important target for this effort. We all heartedly welcome and support the Global Carbon Divestment Movement. European Greens want to build broad alliances with municipal authorities, education institutions, faith-based organisations and communities, trade unions, financial actors, philanthropies and all kinds of civil society organisations to make carbon divestment a strong European movement. We also call for a divestment from nuclear energy. Any private funding, based on a polluter-pays principle, should be made transparent to the public.
Similarly to the restrictions which the World Health Organisation promotes against the “tobacco sponsorship of international events, activities and/or participants therein”, we call upon the exclusion of fossil fuel lobbies from the UNFCCC and comparable institutions.
The European Union has to take a leading position within the UNFCCC negotiations, and ambitions for the 2030 package should be raised. We need three binding targets:
- a reduction of gas emissions by at least 55 % from the 1990 levels by 2030 in order to reach a carbon-neutral society by 2050.
- 40% energy efficiency, with concrete and ambitious objectives at a European level.
- a boost to renewable energy, excluding agrofuels, to provide 45% of our energy consumption by 2030.
These targets should be understood in the context of a wider energy transition, comprising of an EU-wide prohibition of fracking that is coupled with further research on fracking, halting the construction of new nuclear power plants while dismantling existing ones, and phasing out the use of coal as a source of energy.
We anticipate that COP21 may not deliver all that would be needed. Beyond Paris, the discourse therefore should not be controlled by a privileged few. This should be the rallying call for the global climate movement, that continues beyond Paris.
Focusing only on the business sector to solve the climate crisis is not a solution. Greens are very clear: fighting the climate crisis cannot follow business interest; business interest must follow the climate logic. We understand that large parts of our economy are dependent on fossil fuels, and therefore have no interest whatsoever in contributing to a solution for the climate crisis. They are actively destructing the environment, and cause harm to the current and future generations. We Greens believe that they cannot be our partners, and we will work hard to expose their activities. We aim at ending the fossil based economy and arriving at a renewable future. We welcome cooperation with business actors that share this perspective.
For European Greens standing up against climate change is a common core challenge for the year 2015 and beyond. Let’s mobilise as best as we can and let’s build the alliances necessary to win this fight.
We call for the establishment of a Capacity Building Facility that would provide countries with support for education, public awareness and capacity building, as these are essential tools for a long-term solution to the climate crisis.
Universal human rights need to be a cornerstone of the new agreement.
The climate crisis amplifies existing gender inequalities, as women are overly affected by the consequences of climate change. Therefore, gender equality should be taken into account at all stages in the development of mitigation and adaptation strategies. Climate funds should have an integrated gender dimension and promote women's involvement as leaders in climate change adaptation and environmental management.