New EU initiative for net zero emission

Europa EU

Katowice (Poland), Dec 13 : A new initiative, comprising 45 European non-state actors and named Step Up Now, on Thursday set a joint vision for creating a new economy and society that will work quickly and substantially to build a net zero emission Europe by 2050 at the latest.

It showcases the commitment of 22 business, 15 investors, six cities and two regions that are seizing the opportunity to mitigate climate change.

This announcement comes on the margins of the ongoing 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP24, that aims to finalise the implementation guidelines of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

“This is an opportunity for a managed transition to create good jobs in growing fields, to bolster innovative industries, to build out resilient infrastructure, and to develop new business models that support a better, healthier, and more sustainable way of life,” the initiative said in a statement.

Step Up Now is built in partnership with existing coalitions. Its secretariat is run by the European Climate Foundation, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and E3G.

The statement says this is another vital contribution by non-state actors committing to do their share and stepping up their activities in the context of the Talanoa Dialogue.

The 45 actors voice their expectation that the EU increase its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement and set a long-term decarbonisation pathway by 2020.

“The second-best time to act against climate change is now; the best has already passed. It’s the momentum to foster emission reduction, effective carbon prices, key partnership and climate risk management,” ACCIONA Chairman and CEO Jose Manuel Entrecanales Domecq said.

In another development at the COP24, Poland and a coalition of countries including the EU, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Britain on Wednesday committed to increase their climate targets by 2020.

The commitment is a response to the findings of the landmark Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 1.5 degrees Celsius report.

The signatories state that they are determined to step up their ambition by 2020, in line with the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement. They will achieve this through increasing their climate pledges, the so-called NDCs, increasing short-term action and long-term low emission development strategies.

“The spirit of Paris is back. For the EU this must mean a commitment to significantly increase its 2030 target by 2020, even beyond the 55 per cent reduction some member states and the European Parliament are calling for. We call upon the countries that have not signed the statement so far to stop ignoring the science (of the IPCC),” Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe Director Wendel Trio told IANS.

(Vishal Gulati is in Katowice at the invitation of Climate Trends to cover the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP24. He can be contacted at [email protected])

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