Adidas, Puma, Aldi, Commerzbank demand EU policy overhaul after COP21

Adidas fait partie des grandes entreprises qui souhaitent que l'UE révise à la hausse ses objectifs climatiques. [Julia P/Flickr]

EXCLUSIVE/ Adidas, Puma, Aldi, and Commerzbank are among more than 30 German business giants demanding an overhaul of EU climate and energy policy after Saturday’s landmark deal (12 December) to limit global warming at COP21.

The corporations, which include cruise company Aida, utility company ENBW, and aerospace and construction firm Otto Fuchs, want;

  • The EU’s 2030 climate and energy goals boosted, including upping efficiency targets from 27% to 40%;
  • “Comprehensive change” in transport regulation and finance to gain a 95% greenhouse gas cut and encourage more rail and electric vehicles;
  • A deeper revamp than planned of the EU’s Emissions Trading System to create a carbon price that spurs investment and leads to 95% emissions reductions by 2050.

195 nations agreed in Paris to cap warming to “well below” two degrees above pre-industrial levels, with a long-term goal of a 1.5 degree target. It was hailed as the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era.

>>Read: COP21 celebrations, but governments must mind the emissions gap

Paris marks a crucial turning point, the businesses will say in a joint statement to be released later today. “Governments around the world are now serious about taking decisive action well before the end of the century to phase out fossil fuels,” it will say.

Dropping costs for renewable and energy efficiency technologies made that more feasible than ever before, according to the companies, which were brought together by by business associations B.A.U.M. (550 German businesses), the Foundation 2° (12 large companies) and development and environment organisation Germanwatch.

The landmark accord in Paris required wholescale revisions of EU policy, to create a financial and regulatory framework that would drive investment in the low-carbon economy, the businesses will tell the EU, and the German government.

The German giants’ words carry weight, not just because they come from the dominant economic power in the EU, but also because the COP21 deal has been championed as the strong signal the market needed to drive that investment.

2030 targets

The leading businesses have committed to being pioneers in the new global energy transition. They believe that the Paris agreement mandates increasing the bloc’s climate targets.

In October 2014, EU leaders agreed to targets of at least a 40% reduction in greenhouse gases compared to 1990 levels in greenhouse gases by 2030, and 27% increases in renewables and energy efficiency.

The European Commission had pushed for 30% in renewables and efficiency, but that was watered down at the European Council. The executive was holding off translating those targets into draft law until after Paris, but is now expected to legislate.

The German corporations backed a boost to the efficiency of 40%, supporting the European Parliament’s position. MEPs and the Council of Ministers will ultimately have to agree the same targets before the future bill can become law.

The businesses also called on the German government to take action to reduce Germany’s emissions by 80-95% by 2050.

The European Commission was asked for comment shortly after publication of this article.

>>Read: Sketch: COP21 circus ends with love letters to Paris

Negotiations on climate change began in 1992, and the UN organises an annual international climate change conference called the Conference of the Parties, or COP.

Paris hosted the all-important 21st conference in December 2015. The participating states reached an agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, the object of which was to reduce CO2 emissions between 2008 and 2012.

EURACTIV coverage from the COP21 final week


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