PES Environment Ministerial: real climate action is the answer

05/03/2020

PES Environment Ministerial, Brussels, 5 March 2020

The PES Environment Ministerial meeting in Brussels. Pictured left to right: Yonnec Polet, Pedro Marques, Rovana Plumb, Elisa Ferreira, Dan Jørgensen, Svenja Schulze, Teresa Ribera, João Pedro Matos Fernandes and Aaron Farrugia.

After the presentation of the European Green Deal in December 2020, now is the time for ambitious proposals which create real change, PES Environment Ministers said today at a meeting in Brussels.

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

"The EU Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) must finally be updated in line with our ambition to reach the 1.5 degrees target. We as socialist, social democratic and labour ministers are certain: only an ambitious new EU-NDC can meet the hopes and expectations of scientists, environmental leaders and most of all citizens in Europe and around the world.

"The new Climate Law will be instrumental in affirming the pathway towards climate neutrality. Putting forward this proposal within the first 100 days is a strong signal from the European Commission that it will progress the ecological transition through European legislation."

Commenting on the Just Transition Fund and Mechanism, she added:

"We progressives are leading the fight against climate change in our member states, in the European Union and on a global level. This role comes with the responsibility to be a good example and to get the transition to carbon-neutrality right.

"With Elisa Ferreira, we have a Commissioner in charge of the Just Transition portfolio who will ensure that this transition is socially fair for all our citizens. This topic could not be closer to our party family and we are united as PES Ministers in the Council, in the Commission and in the S&D Group in the European Parliament - we will leave no one behind."

Environment ministers from the progressive political family met for the second meeting after relaunching the PES environment ministerial network earlier this year. The ministers exchanged with representatives from the S&D Group in the European Parliament and Commissioner Elisa Ferreira, discussing the Just Transition Fund, the update of the EU-NDC and the upcoming Climate Law.

These files must reflect the high ambition of progressives in the fight against climate change, while maintaining a crucial balance of burden-sharing within the EU and beyond.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Svenja Schulze, Chair and Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany
  • Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, European Commission
  • Teresa Ribera, Vice-President for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Spain
  • Dan Jørgensen, Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, Denmark
  • Aaron Farrugia, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning, Malta
  • João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Minister for the Environment and Climate Action, Portugal
  • Rovana Plumb, S&D Vice-President for a Just Transition and Demography, European Parliament
  • Mohammed Chahim, Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, European Parliament
  • Pedro Marques, PES / S&D Coordinator for the Implementation of the Commission Work Programme, European Parliament
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General, PES