Time to step up: 5 years on from Paris

(EurActiv, 7 Dec 2020) It is high time that European and national leaders formally commit to stronger EU 2030 decarbonisation objectives and start working for a climate neutral Europe by 2050, together with our cities and regions, write the heads of four city networks.

The following op-ed is co-signed by Thomas Brose (Executive Director of Climate Alliance), Julije Domac (Director of North-West Croatia Regional Energy Agency, and President of FEDARENE), Dario Nardella (Mayor of Florence, and President of Eurocities) and Giuseppe Sala (Mayor of Milan, Vice Chair of C40 Cities and Chair of the C40 Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force).

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that drastic change in response to a crisis is possible. In a matter of weeks, recovery plans will be put in place by national governments and the EU across Europe. They will have major impacts on the way we live our lives, on the economy, society, and the environment more generally.

A green and just recovery must not only address the obvious impacts on global health and economies, but also the immediate and longer-term challenges of climate breakdown. These plans must now be assessed on their long term merits – by ensuring that recovery will mean building resilience and keeping Europe’s green ambitions on track.

Because we’re not on track. The climate crisis, according to global institutions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to the European Environment Agency is the threat we are failing to address.

The current EU ambition for a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 is not in line with the longer-term ambitions of climate neutrality by 2050.

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EurActiv, 7 Dec 2020: Time to step up: 5 years on from Paris