The EU needs to step up, say representatives from the German and Swedish governments. Photo: ©RaySAY –

Mind the gap

The European Union must urgently strengthen its climate targets for 2020 and 2030.

EU national governments need to deliver much stronger pledges after UNEP has published the eighth edition of the UN Environment’s Emissions Gap report.

UNEP writes that “national pledges in the Paris Agreement only bring a third of the reduction in emissions required by 2030 to meet climate targets, with private sector and sub-national action not increasing at a rate that would help close this worrying gap. As things stand, even full implementation of current unconditional and conditional Nationally Determined Contributions makes a temperature increase of at least 3 °C by 2100 very likely – meaning that governments need to deliver much stronger pledges when they are revised in 2020”.

The European Union countries must urgently strengthen the EU targets for 2020 and 2030, argues Climate Action Network. Several countries have started to give such signals. The German negotiator Karsten Sach said at the UN climate conference in Bonn in November 2017, according to ENB, that “major emitters including the EU need to agree by 2020 how they will deepen current pledges to cut GHG emissions through the Paris Agreement”. In addition, Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary of the German Ministry of Environment, confirmed during a meeting at the same conference with the Small Island Developing States that Germany is supporting the 1.5 degree goal. The Swedish Minister of the Environment also issued a statement in October saying that climate targets have to be strengthened.

In Bonn, parties to the Paris Agreement negotiated the Facilitative Dialogue 2018, which will analyse how far countries have come in reducing greenhouse gases and will lead to a strengthening of commitments to reduce the gap that UNEP has identified. An important tool for the review will be the IPCC Special Report on the 1.5 degree target, which will be published in October 2018.

Reinhold Pape


Emission GAP report 2017,

ENDS Europe Daily, 7 November 2017


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