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Eight EU countries call for more ambitious strategy to tackle climate change

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Eight EU countries call for more ambitious strategy to tackle climate change
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Eight European Union member countries have called for more ambition on tackling climate change on the eve of a European summit in Sibiu, Romania.

Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden urged the EU to cut emissions to net zero by 2050. They also demand that at least a quarter of the EU budget be spent on projects to fight climate change.

The paper comes ahead of a Thursday summit gathering European leaders to talk about the future of Europe and EU strategy for the next five years.

However, the group has various notable absentees such as Germany.

What's in the paper?

In the paper seen by Euronews, the group highlighted that climate change can have "profound implications for the future of humanity" and that its impacts "are already felt across the EU" citing the example of heat waves and "scorching" fires last summer.

The group also stressed that climate change was already "a subject of increased concern for the European citizens" with the "recent mobilisation of young people across Europe". As such it was the EU leaders' obligation to address this issue quickly.

In a set of proposals, the group said the EU should cut greenhouse gas emissions to a net-zero level by 2050.

Eyeing the next European budget, the group suggested using "at least 25%" of the entire EU budget in projects to fight climate change, adding that the "EU budget should not finance any policy detrimental to this objective".

EU budgets are regulated by the multiannual financial framework (MFF). The current one tops spending to a bit more than €900bn for the 2014-2020 period.

“The recent surge in public protests and unprecedented mobilisation of actors in all sectors of the economy is forcing European leaders to finally recognise the urgency needed to combat the climate crisis," Wendel Trio, director of Climate Action Network Europe.

"At the Sibiu summit, all European leaders need to follow the call from the most progressive governments and publicly commit to put climate action at the heart of future EU cooperation."

Which EU countries have decreased CO2 emissions the most in 2018?

According to Eurostat (estimated) figures, Portugal — one of the eight countries calling for more action against climate change — recorded the highest decrease of CO2 emissions within the European Union in 2018. The other member of the group in this list was the Netherlands.

According to the figures, Luxembourg was among the countries to record one of the highest increases compared to last year. The country with the highest CO2 emission was Latvia.

Eurostat