AIDGLOBAL subscribes Open Letter to the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union

AIDGLOBAL subscribes Open Letter to the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union

AIDGLOBAL subscribes Open Letter to the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Calling for a fair and inclusive climate transition.

More than 30 civil society organizations are calling for a fair and inclusive climate transition for all people, in an open letter to the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in a decisive semester to respond to the challenges of climate and COVID-19. Exposing a series of recommendations, they demand greater coherence of EU policies in view of the commitments with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a Climate Law compatible with the limitation of global warming to 1.5ºC and an EU Climate Change Adaptation Strategy to prevent future crises.

Policies such as the European Ecological Pact – a priority in the EU’s post-COVID-19 recovery plan – must be aligned in the fight to reduce inequalities, inside and outside the EU, especially in relation to the poorest, most vulnerable and marginalized. As the European Council assumes, in line with the Lisbon Treaty and the United Nations 2030 Agenda, “we must create win-win situations and reinforce the positive impact of EU policies on developing countries”.

Internally, the Charter calls for the inclusion, in the European Ecological Pact, of social measures and criteria, based on rights, promoters of employment and justice, and for the implementation of the EU Social Pillar, with concrete actions to be agreed at the Social Summit on May 7th 2021.

Externally, compliance with the EU’s climate targets must avoid jeopardizing the access of goods from emerging markets – such as those in Africa – to the community market and avoid negative externalizations, namely the export of garbage or the use of crops to produce biofuels. In parallel, the fund to support developing countries in combating climate change should be additional to Official Development Assistance (ODA), have a greater weight of grants compared to loans, and respond to the priorities and needs of partner countries, particularly those with lower incomes.

The measures proposed by the European Parliament to reach the goal of the Paris Agreement of global warming at 1.5ºC are on the negotiating table of the Portuguese Presidency. In reaching an interinstitutional agreement on the Climate Law, the signatories of the Charter call for carbon neutrality, before 2050, with data supported by an independent scientific body supporting the European Commission. They call for the elimination of all direct and indirect support for fossil fuels, by 2025, and for those that are not in line with the Paris Agreement. To hold Governments accountable for climate action, they require clear provisions on access to justice and the involvement of civil society.

The implementation of the European Council conclusions on the EU Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change is seen as a unique opportunity to deal with the current climate crisis. The approval of national climate change adaptation plans is called for as a next step, with legally binding targets for each member state. However, resilience in adapting to new scenarios cannot leave mitigation work behind. For this, the implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and synergies with policies aimed at protecting human health and ecological and social systems are crucial.

Lopes, C., (2021). Europe and Africa need to see eye to eye on climate change. OECD Development Matters, January 4, 2021.

The Open Letter is found here.

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