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How the EU is leading the global transition to a safe, carbon-neutral world

Interview with EU climate expert Geneviève Pons on the link between European climate behavior leadership and Qatar

Q1. Madame Ponce – You are a prominent climate change expert. Tell us more about your experience and how you got into a good fight.

Thank you for today. I am happy to share my thoughts on the importance and urgency of tackling climate change.
I have a long career in the European Commission, working on a wide range of issues related to environmental protection and climate change, and participated in the historic Joint Energy and Environment Council on October 29, 1990. discount. After that, he joined the European Commission President Jacques Delors Cabinet as an environmental committee member. With this quality, I chaired a number of rigorous ministerial meetings that led to the adoption of the Commission’s CO2 tax proposal prior to the June 1992 Rio Summit.
After leaving the European Commission, I headed the European office of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and now heads Europe Jacques Delors, a think tank dedicated to sustainable development. I am the co-head of Antarctica 2020 and a member of Ocean Unite, a coalition of NGOs engaged in marine conservation.

Q2. Tell us more about the EU Green Deal.

The European Green Deal has been around for a long time. When Jacques Delors left the European Commission in 1995, he left a white book on his vision of the 21st century and a chapter on the new development models I contributed to. This new development model is now evolving to the EU Green Deal.
The EU Green Deal is an EU project to make the EU the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050. There are two main goals. The intermediate goals are climate neutral (that is, zero net greenhouse gas emissions) by 2050 and reduction of net greenhouse gases. Emissions of at least 55% by 2030. This includes biodiversity, energy, transportation, and agricultural goals.
It will require major changes in all aspects of society and the economy. To that end, the EU has developed an accurate schedule and financial means for implementing this EU Green Deal. This is very important.

Q3. Why is the EU Green Deal related to Qatar and other countries?

The EU Green Deal is not just a decisive project for Europe. I think it can and is useful as a point of reference and, in fact, as an inspiration to other parts of the world. Remember that the EU is one of the three largest economies in the world. Therefore, it is very likely to lead the transition to a safe, carbon-neutral, resilient and sustainable world.
We recently witnessed the fruits of EU global leadership. In response to the EU’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by the middle of the century, many major countries have promised their own long-term net-zero goals. Today, there are more than 60 countries that have promised to achieve net zero emissions around the middle of the century, which is more than half of the world’s GDP.

Q4. Why is climate change so important and what is the EU doing in the area of ​​climate change?

The world is already facing the devastating consequences of climate change, including extreme weather events, rising sea levels, wildfires, floods and biodiversity loss. Every part of the earth is affected. Although serious floods have killed lives in Europe this summer, GCC is also at risk of rising temperatures and water stress.
A special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Global Warming at 1.5C, which provides policy makers with regular scientific assessments of climate change, was very clear. As a safer aspect of the Paris Agreement’s temperature limits, limiting global warming to 1.5 ° C will reduce the challenging impacts of climate change on ecosystems, human health and well-being. Scientists estimate that temperatures have already risen by about 1.1 degrees Celsius since the beginning of the 20th century. We are in a climate emergency!
This is a decisive challenge for Europe and the world. The way we choose to respond to or not respond to climate emergencies has already shaped our political system. Climate protection issues are one of the central themes of the 2019 EU election campaign, and the new European Commission President Ursula von der Reyen, elected in the summer of 2019, is working on climate protection. Made it a central element of the program.

Q5. How is the EU leading climate change measures globally?

Climate change alone cannot tackle it. The EU has a small decline in its share of global CO2 emissions. CO2 pricing measures need to be strengthened and expanded domestically as it is legally required to achieve the goal of being climate neutral by 2050 under the new EU climate law. The price of 1 ton of carbon under the European Union Emissions Trading System (ETS) jumped to 69 euros per ton a week after COP26. If all European industries have to pay high to reduce emissions, we are at increased risk of carbon leaks. This does not help solve global climate change problems, as carbon-intensive production only moves elsewhere.
That’s why the EU’s “Fit for 55” climate protection package includes the Carbon Border Adjust Proposal (CBAM), which is very similar to the one proposed by the “Europe Jacques Delors” in June 2020.
The United States tends to understand the logic behind CBAM, but that doesn’t mean they accept it. The first reaction from China and India was “It’s a protected trade principle!” This is not a rare initial reaction. But since then, I’ve noticed that the comments have been quiet. It is important to know that China already operates its own emissions trading system, despite being limited to power generation to date and prices are still very low but rising. And at COP26, we recognized the need for all countries to accelerate their efforts.
However, COP26 was also characterized by heightened tensions between developed, emerging and developing countries in the context of the asymmetric impact of the Covid crisis on national economies and societies. Against this backdrop, it is in the EU’s interest to be actively involved with the international community on the broader issue of harmony between world trade and sustainability. The EU is also strengthening its financial and technical involvement with international partners in the energy transition, starting with the least developed countries.

Q6. How would you rate the results of COP 26?

Overall, the agreement adopted at COP26 in Glasgow does not address the urgency of the climate change issues we are currently facing. Still, they are showing progress in the right direction. One of the most encouraging steps is to put pressure on the parties to the Glasgow Climate Pact on climate mitigation. In fact, the Agreement requires States parties to renew or submit new NDCs towards stronger goals, if applicable, prior to COP27 in 2022. It is also the first time that the Paris Agreement has mentioned fossil fuels and coal, which are the major sources of climate change emissions. This inclusion sends a clear message to investors and governments to start with the most carbon-intensive and stop funding these types of energy.
Given its share of global fossil fuel production, the role of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in accelerating the phase-out of global fossil fuels and the development of renewable energy is important. However, their interest is also high given the many climate change challenges facing the region (heat waves, water scarcity, sea level rise).
Participating in the Global Methane Pledge initiated by the EU and the United States in September 2021 is a major step forward for these countries. Indeed, methane is about 84 times more powerful than CO2 in warming the climate in the short term. However, partly due to the development of natural gas, methane emissions increased more than eight-fold between 1990 and 2012. Therefore, this pledge aims to reduce these emissions by 30% at the global level by 2030 compared to the level at 2020. This can have a significant impact on the slowdown of global warming, and all efforts must be made to achieve it.
The Glasgow Agreement also calls for further efforts from all parties to raise ambitions for climate change financing, adaptation, loss and damage. Indeed, supporting lowland coastal and island nations must now be a priority. If these countries struggle to incorporate a 1.5 ° C global warming limit into the 2015 Paris Agreement, this is a matter of life, alongside NGOs, including WWF, the European Policy Agency, which I was leading at the time. And death for them. The windows to reach this global goal are closing rapidly, so it’s time for governments to take bold steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure a safer world for all. came.

http://www.gulf-times.com/story/707973/How-EU-is-leading-global-transition-towards-a-safe How the EU is leading the global transition to a safe, carbon-neutral world

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