With the international negotiations on climate change balancing on a thin rope, the MEPs sent a clear message to the EU's summit negotiators and reiterated the EU pledge to cut emissions 20% by 2020.
"We must address loopholes and redefine commitments made in Copenhagen and Cancun," said Jo Leinen, chairman of the parliamentary committee on environment. "Existing official pledges amount to only half of what is needed to limit the temperature increase to 2°C. And this temperature is the red line to keep climate change under control."
The resolution made special mention of the need to further reduce carbon emissions beyond 20%, saying it would create economic benefit through 'green jobs' and 'green growth'.
The resolution was supported by the five main political groups in Parliament and was approved on a vote of 532 to 76, with 43 abstentions.
The MEPs want the EU to speak with one voice at the South African summit and to have clear proposals for future measures that other countries will follow as well.
At the same time they invited EU to clarify its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol and confirm its capability to pass on the second phase of the implementation measures.
Special mention was made to the so-called 'gigatonne gap', or the difference between the current international commitments and the target of average global warming reduction to 2°C set by the UN.