The Malta Independent 22 August 2019, Thursday

Paris Agreement: European Parliament takes a leading role as Trump withdraws

Thursday, 15 June 2017, 12:33 Last update: about 3 years ago

The European Parliament sent a strong message in favour of concrete action against Climate Change as it agreed on a legislation to curb its greenhouse-gas emissions in the transport, building and agriculture sectors by almost a third by 2030.

A progressive coalition led by the Socialists and Democrats managed to stop the conservative forces in the European Parliament from further weakening the proposal of the European Commission to reduce emissions from these specific sectors. The regulation known as Effort Sharing achieved the backing of the European Parliament with 534 votes in favour, 88 against and 56 abstentions. This legislation will be crucial to the implementation of the COP21 agreement, covering 60% of the EU’s greenhouse emissions.

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Miriam Dalli, S&D’s spokesperson on Environment and S&D rapporteur on this legislation, described this vote as a major step forward, setting a longer-term objective up to 2050 to reduce emissions.

‘‘The pro-environment groups came together to make a positive difference. On the other hand, the EPP went out of their way to further weaken this proposal. We need to make sure that EU governments take serious measures to reduce emissions and live up to their commitments. Every sector needs to contribute to stop and eventually reverse the impacts of Climate Change and this legislation addresses precisely this,’ Dr Dalli said.

Thanks to  the S&D position there will be more frequent compliance checks to make sure that Member States are actually reducing their emissions and not lagging behind.

This vote was taken following a debate in the plenary of the European Parliament about President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Miriam Dalli described President’s Trump decisions as a blow to common sense. “This setback will not abate our resolve to act. We need to lead, inspire and empower. This is the time for bold action. The time where we decide as one united continetn on which side of history we want to be,” she emphasised.

The European Parliament was addressed by Hilda Heine, President of the Marshall Islands who are regularly swamped due to sea level rise and who are experiencing large displacements of people due to Climate Change effects.

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