The Party of European Socialists (PES) today held a meeting of its Environment and Climate Change Network chaired by MEP Jo Leinen. The network brings together representatives of PES member parties, S&D Members of European Parliament, trade unions and civil society to develop and promote progressive environmental and climate change policies. Participants discussed the implications of the COP21 outcomes on the EU’s climate and energy policies, the follow-up of the Commission’s Circular Economy Package and how to tackle energy poverty in Europe.
MEP Jo Leinen, chairman of the PES Environment and Climate Change Network, said: ‘The end of last year was marked by some very encouraging signs: for the first time ever the world community agreed on an international accord that is applicable to all to halt global warming, and the European Commission presented its roadmap for a circular economy. Now the delivery begins.
With its new, more ambitious temperature target, the historic Paris Agreement represents a new paradigm in international climate policies. From that base we can begin to embed and to revise national and European climate and energy policies upwards. The EU should be at the forefront of turning ‘Paris’ from paper to reality.
Our network agrees that Europe can still do more to improve the sustainability of its consumption and production patterns. The Commission’s circular economy package proposals provide new momentum to change the EU’s policies in this regard to the better, while creating jobs, and improving the EU economies’ competitiveness.
Another crucial concern for our political family is the problem of energy poverty. That more than fifty million Europeans cannot afford warm housing during winter is unacceptable for European Socialists and Democrats. Our political family has proposed and promoted measures to tackle energy poverty and will continue to do so in upcoming revisions of EU energy policies.’
In adopting the declaration ’21 Progressive Proposals for COP21’ the PES laid down its vision for the Paris Agreement and for EU energy and climate policies of the future. The PES moreover committed to fighting global warming and creating a comprehensive circular economy during its Congress on 12 and 13 June 2015 in Budapest with its resolution ‘Roadmap for a Progressive Europe’.
Speakers at the PES Environment and Climate Change Network included:
Aurore Maillet, circular economy expert in the cabinet of Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
Kata Tüttö, Rapporteur on the Covenant of Mayors, PES Group in the Committee of the Regions
Peter Van Kemseke, climate change policy expert in the cabinet of Maros Sefcovic, Commission Vice-President for Energy Union
Wendel Trio, Director Climate Action Network Europe
Johan Vande Lanotte, PES Special Coordinator for Energy Policies, sp.a spokesperson on energy policies in the Belgian federal parliament and former Belgian energy minister
Theresa Griffin MEP, chairwoman of the S&D Group’s energy poverty working group
Christian Linder, social dimension, social dialogue and vulnerable consumers expert in the cabinet of Maros Sefcovic, Commission Vice-President for Energy Union