Peter Liese: The EU can increase its climate target to 57%; existing legislation already leads us there / Crucial question at COP is China's responsibility / Priority for economic growth and climate protection, other concerns to be postponed

“A new Polish government could help us stabilising European climate policy in difficult times," stated Dr. Peter Liese, the environmental policy spokesperson of the largest group in the European Parliament (EPP Christian Democrats). In the parliamentary elections in Poland on Sunday, the Civic Coalition together with its allies had managed to break the majority of PiS according to polls after the election. “PiS has been a major brake on European climate policy in recent years. Many decisions were only possible after difficult discussions. The Civic Coalition and its allies, e.g. the electoral alliance 'The Third Way,' will ensure a completely different course here. They advocate an ambitious climate policy in Poland and in the European Union. One part of the electoral alliance is even called 'Polska 2050', because they want Poland to finally commit to climate neutrality in 2050. The conditions for European climate policy will certainly not be easy in the next few years, because people realize that it is not enough to adopt ambitious targets, but that the measures will bring actual changes. I am convinced that we can and must nevertheless meet the targets. Tailwind instead of headwind from Poland will help us to achieve these," said Liese.

“The European Union can raise its climate target from 55% to 57%. The already decided legislation leads us to this higher climate target," continued Dr. Peter Liese before the meeting of the European Union's environment ministers on Monday. The ministers aim to define their strategy for the climate conference in Dubai in December (COP28). "In the context of emissions trading and the regulation for climate protection in agriculture and forestry (LULUCF), the European Parliament has managed to increase the ambition from 55% to 57%. Therefore, it is logical for the Environment Council to adopt this goal, in order to put pressure on other states. It makes little sense to do more than announced and keep it secret. We can only solve the climate crisis globally and therefore we have to motivate other states to do more as well," Liese said.

A crucial question at the COP, from Liese's point of view, is how to increase pressure on China to raise its climate target and also contribute to the financing of international climate policy: "International climate policy still suffers from China demanding to be classified as a developing country. However, China's emissions are now higher than those of the European Union, not only in total but also per capita. Developing countries and other emerging countries such as Brazil and India must detach themselves from China and build pressure on China together with the EU."


In Liese's view, ambitious climate protection does not contradict a revival of the economy: "Given the recession the weak economy in many European countries, we must carefully consider what we do. The economy needs a tailwind and no further shackles. However, during my company visits, I see that many firms have already embarked on the path to climate neutrality. To reach the goals, we need faster approval procedures and a quicker expansion of renewable energies. We need both for two things: climate protection and economic growth. Other objectives must be subordinate. Therefore, for example, I welcome that the tightening of European chemical policy was initially postponed by the European Commission. Also, my group is committed to ensuring that legislative proposals, which allow for the extraction of raw materials and the construction of facilities for climate-friendly technologies (Critical Raw Material Act and Net Zero Industry Act), are quickly and comprehensively implemented."

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