Progressives united in drive to achieve EU’s climate neutrality targets

06/04/2021

PES Environment, Climate Change and Energy Network meeting by videoconference

PES Environment, Climate Change and Energy Network meeting by videoconference

A healthier environment means a healthier Europe for all, the PES Environment, Climate Change and Energy Network agreed today as they discussed EU’s path towards climate neutrality and called for ambitious action to safeguard biodiversity.

The Network convened by videoconference to discuss progressive action under the European Green Deal, the ongoing negotiations on the European Climate Law, as well as the European Commission Biodiversity Strategy.

Portuguese Minister of Environment and Energy Transition, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, led an exchange on the Climate Law, highlighting the importance of reaching an agreement during the Portuguese presidency in order to have a leadership role in the international arena and deploy as soon as possible all the regulation that depends on the Climate Law. 

S&D Rapporteur on the Biodiversity Strategy and Vice-Chair of the European Parliament ENVI Committee, César Luena, provided an overview of EU efforts to safeguard ecosystems.

ECEN meeting Chair, Javi López MEP, said:

“Under the progressive European Green Deal, the EU is becoming a world leader in the fight to counteract the climate crisis.

“As socialists and democrats, we understand that the recovery from the coronavirus crisis does not mean a return to the pre-pandemic world. It requires us to shift to a new model focused on environmental sustainability and social fairness. 

“The European Climate Law will include the new 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target and the upcoming June package of revised climate and energy legislation will ensure we can achieve it. We are getting one step closer towards ensuring that the EU truly becomes climate neutral by 2050. As progressives, we want to protect our environment and ensure a socially fair transition towards a more sustainable future.  

“I commend the role that PES is having leading the whole process on the Climate Law: in the Council by the Portuguese Presidency led by Minister of Environment and Energy Transition, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, in the Commission by the Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, and in the Parliament by the Rapporteur and also S&D ENVI Coordinator Jytte Guteland. Achieving an agreement is central to progressive action to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent.”

The Network also discussed the Biodiversity delivered by the European Commissioner Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans. Protecting biodiversity is crucial for safeguarding our ecosystems, as human and animal health are dependent on a healthy environment. We want ambitious action to protect bees, cut pesticides, plant more trees, clean our watercourses, promote biodiversity-rich agriculture, and more.

Participants also held a first discussion on a draft PES paper on sustainable agriculture. For progressives, it is of utmost importance to ensure all citizens have access to healthy food, food production delivers enough income for our farmers, and there is no environmental damage arising from growing food production needs.