EU negotiating plan for Paris to back long term goal, 2C target

Council report due Friday will emphasise support for tough ambition mechanism to drive long term CO2 cuts

European Parliament building in Strasbourg (Pic: Flickr/Emiliano)

European Parliament building in Strasbourg (Pic: Flickr/Emiliano)

By Ed King

Europe’s playbook for December’s UN climate talks in Paris this December – due out on Friday – will contain few shocks, a UK government source said on Wednesday.

The 28-country strong bloc is likely to reiterate its desire for a deal limiting warming to below 2C above pre industrial levels, and call for a long term carbon cutting goal.

Countries are also supportive of regular five-yearly reviews, where progress on carbon cuts and green growth can be assessed and potentially ramped up.

This will be welcomed by climate vulnerable states like the Marshall Islands, whose foreign minister tweeted his desire for a strong position on climate from European leaders this week.

“We’re trying to build up notions like no backsliding and also a principle of progression over time, and these are ways of building pressure to do more,” said the UK official.

“I don’t think you will be surprised with [Friday’s] conclusions… they will say as usual we want as ambitious a deal as possible that keeps 2C within reach.”

Reports this week suggested a group of countries were pushing back on an EU proposal to raise the level of carbon cuts in the event of a Paris deal from 40% to 50% on 1990 levels by 2030.

But the UK source dismissed suggestions of a major split pre-Paris. “It is clear the EU does have an option to go further should it wish to but that’s not before ministers or the EC right now,” they said.

Still, some divisions over the EU’s renewable energy goals remain. Last night Miguel Arias Canete told a Brussels meeting he was pushing for an increase in clean energy ambition.

“If I will have political support, I will try to push for 30 percent energy efficiency by 2030,” he said in quotes reported by Politico.

On climate finance, the UK government source said the pathway towards the $100 billion by 2020 promised to developing countries would become clearer at October’s World Bank meeting.

As revealed by RTCC earlier this month rich countries are preparing to reveal how much funding they are providing to poorer countries, deemed a key element for a Paris deal to succeed.

“I doubt we’ll get $100bn [this year] but I think we will be well north of $31-37 billion public finance,” said the source.

They added most countries seemed supportive of a global climate pact, but acknowledged it would not deliver the immediate carbon cuts to prevent warming above the 2C danger zone.

“The political conditions are there to do a deal, so we should do a deal,” they said. “It will not be a perfect deal, but it will be a big step.”

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