Today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest climate report. The team of experts provides another dramatic assessment of how a global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels will impact our cities and lives. Various non-state organisations reacted to the report. Especially cities notify the same need for urgent action. Together with other civil society actors, they are calling upon EU leaders to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon Europe in line with a 1.5°C pathway.
Influential non-state actors expressed both their dismay and hope during this morning’s press conference: Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, former Vice-Chair of the IPCC, Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Member of The Club of Rome and Energy Cities’ director Claire Roumet.
Local leaders behind Energy Cities know too well about the urgent need to act against climate change. Cities across Europe know the benefits of low carbon infrastructure and many of them already lead by example. They adopt ambitious roadmaps and join forces in initiatives such as the Covenant of Mayors.
Claire Roumet, speaking on behalf of Energy Cities’ President Eckart Würzner, said:
“Many cities and regions in Europe have prepared and are in the process of delivering their 2050 climate and energy strategies. Their responses are based on the latest scientific thinking. In light of the latest news of the IPCC 1.5 degree report, rapid change and widespread societal transformation are needed.”
91 experts from 40 countries co-authored the IPCC report. They agree that staying below 1.5°C will reduce the damage from climate change for the poorest and most vulnerable countries, but also for all Europeans. Adopting the Paris Agreement in 2015 and committing to pursue efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C was a major step forward to build a zero-carbon economy and safeguard our planet’s future. Yet the contributions presented at the Paris talks, including the EU’s pledge to reduce emissions by at least 40% by 2030, would only keep global warming to around 3°C at the best. Keeping global warming to 1.5°C requires an unprecedented shift.
Claire Roumet believes this shift to be beneficial for the EU and its citizens:
“The climate and energy policies shift is not an adjustment variable for the European Union project. On the contrary, it is the next step of its development. The transformation is a driving force that brings benefits across all sectors and for all levels of society through the creation of sustainable jobs and investment opportunities, the improvement of health and the quality of life and by addressing social inequalities. It is also an absolute need to prevent geopolitical threats and ensure global stability.”
October 8, 2018