The Korea Herald


EU supports IPCC call for drastic climate-change mitigation efforts

By Joel Lee

Published : Oct. 22, 2018 - 16:56

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European Union Ambassador to Korea Michael Reiterer and the ambassadors of 28 EU member states issued a joint statement on the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, emphasizing the “unprecedented urgency” of stepping up global efforts to curb climate change.

“Climate change is happening and its effects are being felt all over the world,” the EU’s representative mission in Seoul said. “The IPCC’s Special Report on the global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, which was published on Oct. 8, is alarming, and calls for immediate action by the international community.”

According to the EU mission, the report clearly demonstrates the impact and risks of unmitigated climate change to human societies and natural systems, with powerful implications for the implementation of the United Nations-led sustainable development goals. “It strengthens the scientific underpinnings of the Paris agreement’s objectives,” the mission said.

Stepping up global action to reach the 1.5 degree target is essential if the global community is to reduce risks and avoid the negative consequences of climate change, it added. 

European Union Ambassador to Korea Michael Reiterer (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald) European Union Ambassador to Korea Michael Reiterer (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

The diplomatic mission stressed that the EU remains “more committed than ever” to the Paris climate agreement and is implementing ambitious policies. In recent months, the EU has adopted new legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Its goals include deriving 32 percent of all energy used across the EU from renewable sources by 2030, reaching a 32.5 percent energy-efficiency target, reforming its emissions-trading system and its emissions-reduction targets for sectors that fall outside the scope of the system, and integrating its land use and forestry policy into the EU’s climate and energy framework.

“Achieving low emissions and climate resilient growth is possible,” the EU mission said, adding that the European supranational bloc has successfully decoupled economic growth from emissions. “Between 1990 and 2016, the EU’s gross domestic product grew by 53 percent, while total emissions fell by 22.4 percent. The EU’s share of global greenhouse gas emissions fell from an estimated 17.3 percent in 1990 to 9.9 percent in 2012.”

Collective and fair action by all parties and countries is the best way to achieve these ambitious climate-change mitigation targets, according to the EU.

By Joel Lee (