24 November 2005

The European Parliament has adopted a report written by Swedish MEP Anders Wijkman, which outlines a strategy for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction beyond the 2012 timeframe covered by the Kyoto Protocol. The EU climate change policy recommendations included in the report were published in conjunction with the UN’s 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Climate Change (COP-11) which will be held in Montreal from 28 November to 9 December.

The report calls for very ambitious GHG emission reductions, covering the timeframe through 2050. The main recommendations are:

  • Adopt GHG emission reduction target of 30% by 2020, and of 60-80% by 2050;
  • Establish global partnerships to prevent climate change, which would include the USA, as well as the fast-growing economies of China, India, South Africa, and Brazil;
  • Promote research and innovation for sustainable energy technologies—a Crash Programme (similar to the US Apollo Program of the 1960’s) should be established to promote sustainable energy research;
  • Remove “perverse” incentives such as fossil fuel subsidies, and internalize external costs, including those of climate change, into the price of energy production;
  • Introduce European ecotax by 2009;
  • In the transportation sector:
    • Mandatory CO2 emission limits for cars should replace the current voluntary scheme;
    • A Trans-European Fast Rail Freight Network should be established;
    • Member States should be allowed to use the Finnish-Swedish-length trucks.

The EU Parliament called on the COP-11 meeting to decide on a timetable for the negotiations on future commitments, with an agreement to be reached by the end of 2008.

EU Parliament resolution | Report