Tomorrow the Future of Europe summit will take place in Sibiu, Romania, where national leaders will discuss issues of major importance at the EU, including climate change.
Speaking from Dublin, Lynn Boylan MEP, spokesperson for climate change for the Left, said:
"Last January, the Taoiseach claimed he wanted to rid Ireland of its 'climate laggard' reputation. Well now is the Taoiseach's opportunity. EU leaders are meeting in Romania this week and will discuss the EU's 2030 climate targets, which should be revised upwards in order to meet the science.
"The EU's Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), or 2030 climate target required under the Paris Agreement, is seriously lacking ambition – leaving us on a pathway that would double global warming by the end of the century. I have consistently called for this target to be revised from 40% to at least 55% emissions reductions. The Climate Emergency Manifesto I recently launched calls for a 65% target – what is truly necessary to curb the climate crisis and take emergency measures.
"Through my work as an MEP in this area, I have gotten the European Parliament on two occasions to call for a revision of the EU's 2030 climate targets. In both resolutions, to no surprise, Fine Gael MEPs voted against the amendments for the Parliament to endorse higher targets.
"From looking at Fine Gael's EU Election manifesto, it is clear that they lack the political will to make our climate targets reach the science. I wrote to the Taoiseach to ask him to take this opportunity at Sibiu to call for a revision of the EU's climate targets, but from the unpromising response I received, and Fine Gael's EU manifesto, I certainly won't be holding my breath.
"The Future of Europe Summit this week is the last chance for EU leaders to decide to ramp up the EU's climate commitments to communicate the new commitment at the UN Climate Summit in September. Failure to revise out 2030 targets is accepting the massive human and ecological loss that will come as a result of global warming above 1.5° Celsius.
"It's time for the Taoiseach to walk the walk, not just talk the talk."