PES Environment Ministerial: 2020 must be the year of climate action

19/12/2019

PES Environment Ministerial

Pictured left to right: Yonnec Polet, PES Deputy Secretary General, João Galamba, Portuguese Secretary of State of Energy, Lea Wermelin, Danish Minister for the Environment, Svenja Schulze, German Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and network Chair, and Diederik Samsom, Head of Cabinet, European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans

2019 was the year of wildfires, drought and flooding, 2020 must be the year of climate action, the Party of European Socialists (PES) environment ministerial meeting agreed today.

Svenja Schulze, meeting Chair and the German Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, said:

“The climate crisis is real, in Europe and across the world, and particularly for the most vulnerable states like the many islands nations in the Pacific. It’s high time for action.”

“As social democrats and socialists, we want a just transition: a response that is effective in its environmental impact, but also socially fair. This is what Frans Timmermans’ European Green Deal offers. It is an opportunity to move Europe and the world onto a greenhouse gas neutral path. It is a plan which will lift everyone up, transforming Europe by making it more sustainable and socially just. This is progressive climate action and a model which others around the world can follow.”

Commenting on the COP25, she added:

“I would like to congratulate our Spanish colleagues who managed to bring together governments, NGOs and activists for an important dialogue at very short notice. Of course, we had hoped, the COP25 would conclude with a very ambitious outcome, ones which reflect the public’s growing concerns and demands for action. That’s not, what happened so far. At least, all states agreed to deliver 2020 new climate targets with a more ambitious reduction than they did so far. That is more than the Paris Agreement foresees. Therefore 2020 is a crucial year for the world to act, together. As progressives, we will continue to push for bold policies and encourage our international partners to do the same. The Earth cannot afford inaction.”

Environment ministers from the progressive political family met to relaunch the PES environment ministerial network for the new institutional cycle. The meeting convened to reflect on the recent COP25 and the newly announced European Green Deal, and to coordinate ahead of the EU Environment Council meeting taking place later today.

Earlier this month the PES welcomed Frans Timmermans’ European Green Deal, which delivers on the progressive promise to put sustainability at the top of the EU agenda. The plan reflects the PES priority to ensure no person and no territory is left behind as we move to a more sustainable future. It contains a Just Transition Mechanism, including a Just Transition Fund, to invest in the workers and regions most exposed to the economic and social challenges of the climate transition, a push for a climate-neutral Europe by 2050, biodiversity protection, and proposals to promote clean air, clean water, clean energy and quality food for everyone in Europe.

The meeting was attended by

  • Svenja Schulze, Chair, Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany
  • Lea Wermelin, Minister for the Environment, Denmark
  • João Galamba, Secretary of State of Energy, Ministry for the Environment and Energy Transition, Portugal
  • Diederik Samsom, Head of Cabinet, Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, European Commission
  • Yonnec Polet, PES Deputy Secretary General