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EU Urges Major Economies To Strengthen Climate Pledges

The European Union considers that current climate actions from the world’s largest polluters are insufficient and will call on countries to strengthen their emission-reduction commitments ahead of this year’s climate summit in November, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing a draft document it had seen. 

All members of the EU combined represent the third-largest polluter in the world after China and the United States. The EU has a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% below 1990 levels by 2030, and become climate neutral by 2050.  

Ahead of the COP27 climate summit in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, this November, the EU says in the draft document that “global climate action remains insufficient.” 

Many developed countries have pledged to become net-zero economies by 2050, but big Asian polluters China and India, for example, have their net-zero targets set for 2060 and 2070, respectively. 

“[The EU] calls upon all Parties to come forward with ambitious targets and policies and urges in particular major economies that have not yet done so to revisit or strengthen the targets,” the EU says in the document seen by Reuters. 

While nearly 200 countries are expected to discuss climate change and climate action this November, the talks will coincide with the beginning of the heating season in the northern hemisphere amid a severe energy crisis and low natural gas availability in Europe and Asia, which has already forced utilities and industries to turn to oil-fired and coal-fired power generation to keep the lights on. 

At the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow last year, the world as a whole failed to agree on a commitment to phase out coal, and the final statement watered down the pledges to “phasing down” coal. During the summit, the world’s least developed countries said their concerns were not being heard by developed economies and called for support for poor countries. The Least Developed Countries Group at UN Climate Change negotiations said the group of countries that “are the most impacted by the climate crisis despite contributing the least to it – is anxious to see real progress that will see emissions halved by 2030 and climate finance scaled up to support climate action in developing countries.” 

In its draft document, the EU now says it backs talks on “arrangements for funding” but stopped short of supporting a fund, according to Reuters.  

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By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com 

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