Climate change efforts set for disappointing EU summit in June

(EurActiv, 20 May 2019) A small group of EU countries is pushing for the European Council to come down hard on climate change at an EU summit in June, has learned. But chances are slim that it will be a defining moment for the bloc’s environmental credentials.

In preparation for the summit on 20 and 21 June, a group of eight countries has made a plea for leaders to sign up to robust conclusions, particularly in regard to a draft climate plan for 2050 that is currently the centre of a charged debate.

According to official documents seen by EURACTIV, Cyprus, Denmark, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden all want to send a “strong message” ahead of a landmark United Nations summit in September.

The June summit is the last scheduled meeting before October.

They are urging the other 20 member states to agree that the bloc should go to New York with strong statements on cutting net emissions to zero and making sure no one is left behind by the transition to a green economy.

It is expected that the likes of China and India will turn up at UN headquarters with big plans, including a new date for peak emissions or significant electrification proposals. A weak showing by the EU could undermine the bloc’s climate leadership aspirations.

But some member states, including Estonia, Hungary and Poland, are less keen to push the boat out and are preparing to hold firm and stick to targets that have already been agreed, according to officials.

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EurActiv, 20 May 2019: Climate change efforts set for disappointing EU summit in June