9 July 2018

Europe’s Mayors call for zero-emissions target by 2050

Some of the Europe’s leading city politicians are calling on the EU to take a stronger stance on limiting global temperatures.

10 Mayors from around Europe, including Paris, London, and Barcelona, have written an open letter to the European Commission on its long-term climate strategy

“We urge the European Commission to set the 1.5°C and net-zero emissions goals of the Paris Agreement as objectives of this strategy to be achieved by 2050,” the statement reads.

The letter, addressed to the Commission’s Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič & climate chief Miguel Arias Cañete, was released to coincide with a two-day summit in Brussels on how the European Union plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build a low-carbon economy.

So far, the bloc has been reluctant to set a date for a zero-emissions target; a recent deal on energy governance said the goal will be reached “as early as possible”.

The city Mayors, which also include Milan, Stockholm and Copenhagen, made clear that this is insufficient and a clear net-zero goal needs to be established alongside the target to limit global temperatures to below 1.5C. This ambition runs parallel to their own pledge to become carbon neutral by 2050.

“Achieving this vision will only be possible if cities, regions and national governments work together and follow a shared roadmap and mutually supportive policies to accelerate action on the short and long terms. We know the EU can be the political driving force that sets us in this direction, and cities stand ready to contribute to the effort.”

To do so requires more “Paris-compatible” economic and energy policies, including an enhanced EU budget into the 2020s and measures to phase-out the use of fossil fuels.

The full letter and list of Mayors can be read here.

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