With more and more erratic weather patterns from wildfires in Australia to floods in Europe being linked to the changing climate, countries are under scrutiny to find urgent solutions at the United Nations’ summit in Spain on December 2-13.
After a debate on Monday evening, the European Union (EU) legislature voted in favor of the announcement with 429 legislators for, 225 opposing and 19 abstaining.
“It’s not about politics, it is a matter of our common re Dissenters opposed to the word “emergency”, saying it was too harsh, and “urgency” would serve.
Scientists and environmental activists warn that despite such declarations, the action remains to be faltering to hit the Paris Agreement goal of curbing emissions enough to maintain temperature rises to within 1.5-2 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels.
Nonetheless, the EU parliament’s vote should assist shape policies for the bloc’s incoming executive head, Ursula von der Leyen, who assumes office on December 1.
The 28-country EU is the first multilateral bloc to call a climate emergency; however, it joins quite a few individual nations and cities from Argentina and Canada to New York and Sydney.
“Five years ago, not a single person would have thought the European Parliament would announce a climate emergency, so there’s some progress,” said Greenpeace’s EU point-man Sebastian Mang, adding that “drastic reductions” in carbon emissions must follow.
Von der Leyen will speak on the first day of the Madrid summit. She wants to see billions of euros put into making Europe the first “climate neutral” continent.