Benelux has called on the European Commission to examine, in three months’ time, options for increasing the European Union’s climate commitments in line with the target of zero-carbon emissions by 2050. The call came in a joint statement signed by Marie Christine Marghem and her counterparts from Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The document was presented symbolically to the Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Ovais Sarmad, (India), in the presence of regional ministers Joke Schauvliege (Flanders), Jean-Luc Crucke (Wallonia) and Céline Fremault (Brussels).
The Benelux statement is the result of the Talanoa dialogue, a facilitation tool used to raise climate objectives upward and initiated many months ago between the three countries. It stresses the importance of the last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, published in October.
The report states that it is still possible, and more than desirable given the extreme consequences for meteorological events, to keep global warming under 1.5°C, but that this will require reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 50% of 2010 levels by the year 2030.
While the Benelux text calls for increased targets, it proposes no figures for this and there was still some uncertainty on Wednesday afternoon about whether Belgium would sign on to a text outlined in Katowice by a coalition of countries in the vanguard of the fight against global warming.