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European states and regions call on EU to deliver on targets to reach ambitious climate goals


European regions, states, provinces, and territories of the Under2 Coalition have called on EU leaders to deliver on climate targets and start implementing their ambitious green agenda over the course of the next parliament.

Read the full communique here.

Following the recent European elections, 40 Under2 Coalition members reaffirmed their commitment to the EU’s Green Deal and expressed keenness to work with policymakers to implement existing legislation and maintain climate momentum. 

The group also called for binding EU-wide climate targets to achieve the 90% reduction in GHG emissions as recommended by the European Commission, alongside a biodiversity strategy.

Action now is essential to uphold the EU’s commitments to climate neutrality by 2050, and for the EU to retain its international credibility at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference, COP29. The Coalition members urged the EU to place the climate at the centre of its strategies to increase resilience, energy security, and economic competitiveness.

Subnational governments play a crucial role in implementing EU strategies, driving climate action at a local level through policies, regulations and investments in green infrastructure - future EU budgets must recognise this, prioritising local-level implementation, the Coalition emphasised.

“EU citizens are already feeling the effects of climate change - heatwaves, wildfires and flooding. While many new MEPs may have been elected on different agendas, we cannot afford to deprioritise climate action, and our call to them today urges them to make it a priority. 

“The companies and subnational governments we work with tell us they want to continue in the direction that has been set with the Green Deal. Backtracking and delaying is bad for business and bad for the climate.”

“That is why we need to see fast implementation of the agreed targets. Ramping up renewables capacity, accelerating the shift to EVs and supporting heavy industry with emissions reduction will create new jobs, raise living standards and boost the EU’s global competitiveness, as well as drive towards climate neutrality - to which the EU has committed by 2050.”

Jeroen Gerlag, Head of Europe Office, Climate Group

“Taking action on the climate emergency is our collective responsibility and will require collaboration at all levels of government. As co-chair of the Under2 Coalition, the Scottish Government is determined to play its part in reducing emissions and supporting international climate targets.  

“The race to net zero is one that we must work together to win. As new MEPs get to work after the European Elections, it is critical that countries continue to work together to tackle climate change - and the connected crisis of nature loss – with the ambition, urgency and scale that future generations require of us.”

Màiri McAllan, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Energy, Scottish Government

“It’s time to act. There can be no more delays in making the changes we need for a cleaner, greener future for us and our children. Catalonia has led the way on developing clean energy and transport systems to drive down emissions, but we need others to step up with us. So, we urge the EU to adopt binding targets for 2040 that meet and or exceed those agreed in the EU legislation proposed by the European Commission. Nothing less than strong, committed climate action will do.”

David Mascort, Minister for Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda, Catalonia

“For strong industrialized regions such as Baden-Württemberg, competitiveness and climate protection are not contradictory, but complementary. We in Baden-Württemberg have set the goal of being climate-neutral by 2040 for ourselves. Therefore, we are campaigning in Europe for the ambitious emission reduction targets set by EU law for 2040. With the Green Deal, the EU has set itself the goal of becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. There can be no backing away from this goal. It must be reliably achieved.”

Thekla Walker, Minister for Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector, Baden-Württemberg

“The climate emergency is a global emergency, and so it requires action from all of us. Working together across national and international borders, we can act to reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of our changing climate. I’m pleased to continue supporting the work of the Under2 Coalition to illustrate the power of subnational governments and drive the momentum we need to tackle the biggest threat we’re facing.”

Huw Irranca-Davies MS, Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs, Welsh Government

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