It’s only through concerted international efforts that we have a chance of solving the climate crisis. As a powerful block of countries the EU has played a key role in ensuring that we have international action on this crucial issue. It was EU that put the 1.5° temperature reduction target back on the agenda at the Paris climate talks in December 2015. The EU has led the way internationally for setting mandatory carbon reduction standards and has set ambitious climate and energy targets, putting the EU at the forefront in tackling climate change and well placed to influence major polluters like China and the US.
The European Parliament voted in favour of phasing out all fossil fuels by 2050 and has passed legislation on the energy efficiency of products and targets for rapid introduction of renewable energy capacity so that we can meet this ambitious target. The EU has introduced mandatory energy efficiency targets for a range of domestic appliances including hairdryers and vacuum cleaners. This reduces carbon emissions but also says consumers money that they would’ve wasted on unnecessary electricity. It’s the power out not the power in that matters.
Our membership of the EU requires us to achieve 40% reduction in greenhouse gases; 40% saving in energy use and to increase the proportion of renewable energy to 30%. It is unclear whether we would maintain these targets if we were to leave the EU.
Hear Molly Scott Cato MEP discussing the EU and leading on Climate Action in an interview below.