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Real solution on climate change needed in Paris

Staving off runaway global climate change is impossible without a decisive deal at this year's December COP21 conference in Paris.

That's the message from GUE/NGL MEPs who intervened in a plenary debate today on the forthcoming conference.

Finnish MEP Merja Kyllönen, who attended the COP20 in Lima last year, said: “Peru is the fourth most-affected country by climate change, and it was eye-opening to see the effects first hand. Food production is greatly affected. They may yet reach a situation where people struggle to get clean water and nutrition; it is the poorest, and particularly women, who suffer most from extreme temperatures, drought, and famine.

“Developing countries feel a justifiable sense of injustice. And in Europe we've got to wake up: we must ask ourselves whose standard of living is to blame for climate change and who suffers the impact of climate change. We in Europe must revise our own aims to make them more ambitious and switch over fully to renewable energies. It is a question of solidarity and humanity.

“The meeting from Lima was very clear; in Paris we have to find a real solution.”

“After the not- so-successful conference in Lima, we all turn our eyes once again to the international community in the hope that we will see an agreement in Paris,” said Czech MEP Kateřina Konečná. “We must keep the temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius.”

She continued: “The EU plan to prevent global warming is very ambitious but we must also focus on the question of how to persuade the major economic players – not just the US and China, but also countries like Russia and India – to join the goals of the EU so that they don't get an unjustified competitive advantage. Otherwise the plan will only transform into moving the EU industry out of the EU with no real impact on global climate.”

Cypriot MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis said: “It is vital we reach an agreement in Paris so we can make up for everything we have failed at so far. We must bring determination and doggedness to the table. We should look first to the needs of society and not to the vested interests of the monopolies.

“We need new measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We need to keep up pressure to make sure that the ultimate objective and the contributions to the green fund actually do materialise – only then will developing countries be able to guard against and avoid the consequences of climate change affecting them as well. We must also put the necessary effort into renewables, let's not forget that.”

Galician MEP Lidia Senra Rodríguez commented on the urgent need for a radical change in the way we feed ourselves.

She said: “It makes no sense for our food to travel thousands of miles. That's why small-scale farming, eating locally-produced food, and promoting short commercialisation circuits are crucial. These measures would lead to the creation of many jobs worldwide and a drastic and direct reduction in CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, thus lowering global temperature.

“We need to be consistent. We need to act in a way that is commensurate with our words. If we want measures to tackle the climate crisis, then in Paris it is our duty to commit to a revolution in our food and agricultural policy. We must also cancel the TTIP and other trade instrument negotiations.”