The glass is more than half full but there is still much to do

Climate neutrality is the new normal / Efforts for 2030 absolutely not enough / EU legislation must focus more on getting third countries to make greater efforts

"The glass is definitely more than half full, but there is still a lot to do." This is how Peter Liese MEP and environmental spokesperson of the largest group in the European Parliament (EPP-Christian Democrats), Dr Peter Liese commented on the outcome of the climate conference in Glasgow. "It is very positive that climate neutrality is now accepted by all. It is the new normal. When EU leaders decided on climate neutrality for the EU in 2019 during the climate conference in Madrid, we were almost alone in the world. In the meantime, not only Japan, South Korea, the USA and Australia have joined in, but also an emerging country like South Africa wants to be climate neutral by 2050. This should also be a model for EU member states like Poland, which have not yet decided to take this step themselves. Even if their date is too late, it is an important step that Russia and India have also decided to become climate neutral. However, it remains problematic that China does not want to be CO2-neutral before 2060. This is clearly too late and the European Parliament is emphatically demanding that all climate gases be included in the target, as is the case with the other states. Not only CO2, but also methane and other climate-damaging gases," said Liese, who was also deputy head of the European Parliament's delegation in Glasgow.

"But the biggest problem is that we have too little ambition for the period until 2030. We need to act faster so that our children and grandchildren still have a chance to get a grip on climate change. The 2030 ambitions of most parties are insufficient. The most important result is therefore that the states will have to present more ambitious targets not in a few years' time, but as early as next year. Virtually no major emitter has positioned itself as clearly and ambitiously as the European Union with its 55% target. In implementing the Fitfor55 package, we must therefore pay much more attention to how we motivate other contracting parties to increase their ambitions," said Liese, who is rapporteur for the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in the European Parliament.  "We want 50 per cent of emissions from shipping to and from the European Union to be covered and we have to motivate other partners to cover the remaining 50 per cent. Unfortunately, we also have to work with a border adjustment mechanism (CBAM). Our goal is not the deindustrialisation of Europe, but the decarbonisation of European industry. I have had many interesting discussions on both points (international maritime transport and border adjustment mechanism) in Glasgow and have not experienced any open rejection from third countries. This is an important step forward," Liese concluded.