EU 40% Emission Reduction Target by 2050 is Unambitious and Insufficient

[New Delhi] October 27, 2014 – The European Union’s announcement to cut greenhouse gases by at least 40% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels was described as unambitious and insufficient by Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA), a coalition of 120 civil society organisations.

The pact, which was reached early Friday in Brussels, makes the European Union the first major bloc of countries to commit to emissions targets ahead of next year’s crucial climate change talks in Paris. At the Paris meeting, world leaders will attempt to hammer out a global agreement that will keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

“The European Union has ignored climate science and the human tragedy unfolding in Asia due to extreme weather events. Given the urgency of need for meaningful climate action,we expected EU to take leadership role. CANSA fears that weak targets from the EU will lower the bar of ambition from countries that are preparing to draft their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) due to be submitted in March 2015” said Christian Aid Regional Humanitarian Manager Ram Kishan.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in their Fifth Assessment Report has predicted a bleak future for South Asia with riverine, coastal and urban floods as regular phenomena resulting in water and food shortages. The recent Jammu and Kashmir floods in India and Pakistan are testimony to the havoc and vulnerability resulting in an increase in temperature.

“Inequitable emission reduction targets from developed countries are not acceptable and amount to transferring the mitigation responsibility on poor and vulnerable developing countries. We hope the EU will translate the clause “at least” by raising its ambition closer to 80% or more reduction below 1990 levels by 2050 through a combination of higher domestic actions and international mitigation, to align its actions with 2 degree pathways,” said CANSA Director Sanjay Vashist.

CANSA is calling on all countries to contribute their fair share in emission reductions calculated on the criteria of Adequacy, Responsibility, Capability, Adaptation and Development Needs to ensure equitable sharing of adequate mitigation goal.

A coalition of 120 civil society organisations from the seven countries of South Asia, CANSA demands that all countries ratify the second commitment period of Kyoto protocol by 2015. CANSA is on a vision to strive actively towards the protection of the global climate in a manner that promotes equity and social justice between peoples, sustainable development of all communities, and protection of the global environment.


NOTE 1: As agreed by Parties at COP 19, INDCs put forward by countries will form a key input to the preparation processes of negotiations leading towards the 2015 Paris climate agreement. The term “contribution” was introduced as a compromise of the terms “commitment”, used until then for developed countries, and “nationally appropriate mitigation actions”, used until then for developing countries. Some Parties understand “contributions” to cover contributions on mitigation, while others interpret “contributions” as also including adaptation, finance, capacity building and technology transfer or support. The INDCs in aggregate will provide an important indication of the proposed effort of the international community to address climate change, and whether the global ambition is in line with required greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions compatible with the 2°C goal

For further information contact Sanjay Vashist on