European stakeholders call for immediate action in face of climate emergency

In an unprecedented Climate Action Call published today, a broad coalition is urging European leaders to take decisive action to respond to the climate emergency.

Hundreds of European cities, regions, businesses, youth and faith groups and civil society organisations working on climate, human rights, litigation, mobilization, sports and health call upon leaders to profoundly alter the way we run our societies and economies to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.

The Climate Action Call comes prior to both the EU Heads of State and Government debate on the Future of Europe at the Sibiu summit on 9 May, and the European elections between 23 and 26 May. Climate change is expected to be a central issue in both events, having recently gained prominence in the form of mass citizens’ protests demanding political action.

Signatories of the Climate Action Call demand that current and future EU leaders respond to public mobilization by publicly committing to make climate action a priority for Europe during both the Future of Europe and elections debates. The call spells out five steps for the new European Parliament and Commission, as well as all EU Member State governments:

  1. Commit to accelerate actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and reach net zero emissions as soon as possible.
  2. Plan the end of the use of fossil fuels and provide strong support to energy efficiency, renewable energy and emission cuts outside the energy sector.
  3. Safeguard a just and fair transition and ensure that the EU increases its support to developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
  4. Increase efforts to roll out the circular economy and increase resource efficiency.
  5. Recognise biodiversity protection and ecosystem restoration as a crucial component of climate action.

The signatories include some of Europe’s largest networks of cities and regions (e.g. C40, Energy Cities, Climate Alliance, Fedarene, CPMR), most influential business groups (e.g. Corporate Leaders Group, Haga Initiative, Climate Leadership Council), the largest European NGO coalition on climate and energy (Climate Action Network Europe), and members of an international movement of striking school students (Youth for Climate, Fridays for Future). The Climate Action Call with a full list of signatories, and short, quality videos with statements of stakeholders supporting the Climate Action Call are available on the website.

A quote from Josianne Gauthier, Secretary General of CIDSE:

“We are already living beyond our planetary boundaries. We must act urgently to transform our current production and consumption patterns and make space for sustainable lifestyles and behaviors. These changes need to be reflected in policy and Europe needs to take leadership and responsibility as this is a matter of global, environmental, social, and intergenerational justice. As faith actors and development organizations, we are already witnessing the global, social and human dimensions of this climate crisis.”

A quote from Bishop Jean-Claude Hollerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg:

I would like to ask the future EU Parliament, the Commission and the Member States for urgent action against climate action. We need urgent action for our families, for our kids, for the future of people on this Earth.

I especially would like to ask them to ensure that the zero emissions transition is just, orderly and benefits the poorest members of society by integrating strong social measures and safeguarding human rights.“

A quote from Alfredo Sendim, Portuguese farmer and a plaintiff of the People’s Climate Case and star of Stories of Change:

I am a farmer in Portugal since more than 30 years and today I feel the impacts of climate change in my daily life. On behalf of all families and youth impacted by climate change, I call upon the new European Parliament, the Commission to commit to increase the 2030 target and reduce the emissions to net zero well before 2050.”

Note: The Climate Action Call with a full list of signatories, and short, quality videos with statements of stakeholders supporting the Climate Action Call are available on the website: http://climateactioncall.caneurope.org/

EN-Press release Climate Action Call 7 May 2019