EU Member States have directed the European Commission to urgently come up with a long-term strategy for how the EU will implement the Paris Agreement. The call came as part of conclusions from the European Council, the high-level gathering of EU Member States that meets regularly to decide EU policy, at their 22 - 23 March 2018 meeting.
Jump-starting the process by bringing forward the deadline, Member States insisted that the Commission prepare, by early 2019, a decarbonisation strategy setting out how the EU will implement the Paris Agreement between now and 2050.
NGOs hailed the conclusions, calling them an important step in raising EU climate ambition to the level required by the Paris Agreement. In response, the Commission said they would deliver before the end of the year.
To meet the Paris Agreement goals, the EU must ensure this decarbonisation strategy contains a plan to increase the amount of carbon the EU’s increasingly degraded forests remove from the atmosphere.
The EU must also tackle the emissions it ‘imports’ through its consumption of goods produced or grown elsewhere. Imported goods such as beef, soy and palm oil lead to massive deforestation in the tropics, which lead to major emissions caused indirectly by the EU.