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  • Just three EU countries step up to the plate for Paris climate deal – ranking

    Only three countries in Europe are on the right track to deliver on the Paris climate agreement, a new ranking published today reveals. The EU Climate Leader Board looks at the position of each European government towards the EU’s largest climate law, the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR). Sweden tops the list, followed by Germany and France. At the other end Poland, Italy, Spain and Czech Republic push to weaken the Commission proposal, countering Europe’s efforts to comply with the Paris agreement.

    Covering 60% of the Europe’s total greenhouse gas emissions, the law sets binding national emission reduction targets for the 2021-2030 period for sectors not covered in the emissions trading system, namely: transport, buildings, agriculture and waste. Carbon Market Watch and Transport & Environment’s new climate leaderboard allows citizens to hold their governments accountable for the positions they take on the EU’s largest climate tool to implement the Paris Agreement. 

    Femke De Jong, EU policy director, Carbon Market Watch, said: “EU politicians portraying themselves as climate leaders should put their money where their mouth is by closing loopholes in the EU’s key climate law and pushing for more ambition. Only with determined climate action will lawmakers ensure that European citizens can enjoy the significant benefits of a decarbonised society, such as clean air.” 

    Many countries are proposing to make the ESR a big emissions accounting game by starting from a misleading baseline, abusing forestry credits or exploiting the emission trading system’s huge surplus.

    Carlos Calvo Ambel, transport and energy analyst, Transport & Environment, said: “This is the most important climate law that will enable Europe to deliver on the Paris agreement. But the great majority of countries want to rig the law with loopholes so they can continue business as usual. Either Europe follows the lead of Sweden, Germany and France, which are going in the right direction though not far enough, or we should forget about our climate leadership.”

    An analysis accompanying the ranking proposes solutions for making each country’s position more effective and compatible with the Paris agreement. 

    The ranking consists of a system of points based on the different elements of the proposal, which are weighted against their importance. The countries’ positions come from public documents, declarations by ministers and also papers submitted to the Working Party on Environment.

    The EU member states are currently negotiating their joint position on the Effort Sharing Regulation. Once they have reached an agreement, they will start talks with the European Parliament. The final law is expected to be adopted by the end of 2017.