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Statement of the Scientists for Future on the current draft for a European climate regulation

Deutsche Fassung: Stellungnahme der Scientists for Future zu dem aktuellen Entwurf für eine europäische Klimaverordnung

Call to all European scientists

4 March 2020: On the occasion of the draft of the EU climate regulation, we call on all European scientists across disciplines and institutions to cooperate with and support us. This is a matter of planning effective enough steps for a way into a future without fossil fuels, of taking joint responsibility for this, and of participating in the necessary activities for a secure future for Europe in and with the world.

Statement of the Scientists for Future on the current draft for a European climate regulation

1. We take a stand as scientists and as a part of European civil society

As citizens of Europe, as part of European civil society and as the experts and representatives of the science and research institutions of our democracies, we are making our contribution to the central issue and challenge of shaping the future. The concerns of the younger generation and of ever larger parts of the population are fully justified.

2. The draft lacks anchoring in science

Measured against accepted scientific findings, the draft of 4 March 2020 does not do justice to the objectives formulated by the EU Commission and in the Paris Agreement.

Our main criticisms are:

  • The proposed measures fall far short of what is scientifically necessary. The EU is thus failing to take the leadership role that is required – and claimed – for successful global climate protection, and is failing to set the course for a strong position in the coming transformation process.
  • The 2030 target must not be concretised in September, but must be tightened up considerably now. Moreover, it must not be made dependent upon an impact study that attaches new conditions to compliance with the Paris Agreement.
  • The EU must not rely on very uncertain future possibilities for removing CO2 from the atmosphere. This will shift the consequences of the expected negative climate impact onto children, future generations, and the most vulnerable populations.
  • The draft does not constitute the crucial contribution to fairness and social justice as stipulated in the Paris Agreement.
  • In particular, there is a lack of binding and scientifically based controls by independent review and advisory mechanisms.

3. Recommendations of the Scientists for Future

The regulation is to be geared towards the goal of significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions over the next ten years. This will require well over 55 percent reductions in GHG emissions by 2030 (compared with 1990). According to the IPCC, only a minimal emissions budget remains to limit global warming to as little as 1.5 degrees, as ensured by the Paris Climate Change Convention. Without a very large reduction by 2030, this budget will be exhausted well before 2050, with massive irreversible socio-ecological consequences.

This highlights the scale of the current challenge, which is a transformation of society as a whole. To this end, more far-reaching measures must be adopted, and all economic sectors must be examined for their climate impact and committed to reduction targets.

This includes:

  • the establishment of an independent body for scientific oversight;
  • recognising the urgency of the situation and setting it as a benchmark for action;
  • indicating the associated greenhouse gas emissions for all proposed measures and taking the associated GHG emissions into account in all further decisions;
  • ensure socially equitable burden sharing as a prerequisite for social stability and cohesion.

4. The responsibility of Scientists for Future

The future of young people and the basis of life for all of us must be secured by means of substantiated and institutionalized scientific control. This requires a broad knowledge of facts as a basis. Therefore, on a European basis and as interdisciplinary experts and citizens, S4F will:

  • closely observe EU processes and the politics of the nation states, and provide advice. We will not remain silent if the nation states and the EU do not live up to their responsibilities. We will present options for action on how to achieve ambitious climate targets for the year 2030 in a technically safe, socially just, and economically viable way.
  • work on a scientifically guided, sustainable transformation for/of/with Europe in the world
Greta Thunberg passionately condemns the EU: "We will not allow you to surrender on our future".

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