Time for EU to take leadership on climate: British charity

Marrakech, Nov 11 (IANS) The election of Donald Trump as the next US President has opened the door for the European Union (EU) to reassure the world that the global low carbon transition is unstoppable, a British charity said on Friday.

“The EU must up its game at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change talks here to recognise the need to raise ambition and build a new EU-Sino relationship to save the planet,” Christian Aid’s International Climate Lead Mohamed Adow said in a statement.

Donald Trump’s election will likely alter America’s diplomatic bandwidth on climate, he said.

“This opens up space for the EU to forge a new relationship with China and build on the global political momentum of the Paris Agreement. But it needs to lead from the front,” he added.

“For many years, the EU was the world’s primary environmental champion. It singularly drove the Kyoto Protocol after the US walked away in 2001 and has been at the forefront of renewable energy deployment. In recent years, it has seen America and China take up much of the running.”

“At COP22, we have not yet seen the EU pushing for the delivery of the 1.5 Celsius target that its member states strongly supported in Paris, and it is not yet offering to go the extra mile to deliver a 1.5 Celsius world. But now is its moment,” Adow said.

The Paris Agreement, which became an international law on November 4, is the result of international cooperation and a sense of shared global values, he said.

“If we are going to lose American climate leadership over the next four years, then the EU must now work with other champion countries, such as China, the High Ambition Coalition and the world’s vulnerable countries, to secure not just the Paris Agreement, but a sustainable future for the whole planet,” he added.

The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22) and the 12th session of the Conference of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP12) are scheduled to be held in Bab Ighli in Marrakech till November 18.