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Open Letter: Ambitious Effort Sharing Regulation in the EU

Open letter to the heads and ministers of frontrunner states - Austria, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Luxembourg, Netherlands, France - and to European Commission, European Parliament, European Council

March 7, 2022

Effort Sharing Regulation: Tailored trajectories, collaborative goals

The European Member States now have an unprecedented opportunity to opt for a just, healthy, and zero-emission future for their citizens. Using currently available technologies, quality of life can be improved in the form of cleaner air, more efficient public transport, and reduced energy poverty and fossil fuel dependence while saving the climate.

Opinion polls have demonstrated that the climate crisis is now the biggest cause of concern among European citizens, who are eager to see positive progress being made. However, to stay on track with international commitments to address the climate emergency and limit the global temperature increase to the Paris Agreement target of 1.5°C, Member States will need to achieve climate neutrality far earlier than 2050.

As your country is among the frontrunners in terms of climate policies and measures, we call on you to share your positive experiences and devote your energies to leading the debate on the Effort Sharing Regulation, urging all Member States to act early and define ambitious national targets. There is no time to lose. This decade will be decisive in terms of reaching or falling short of the Paris Agreement goals.

The strengthening of the Effort Sharing Regulation represents a unique opportunity:

The right tool for the job. Since its adoption, the regulation has proved to be a powerful instrument for the design and implementation of climate action in the individual Member States, covering about 60% of EU greenhouse gas emissions by making Member States responsible and accountable for their emissions.

Beyond GDP. The regulation sets national targets and drives the transformation in areas where there is significant room for CO2 reductions. This shift will promote growth and create new jobs in a fair and cost-effective way that will benefit the European economy and society as a whole.

Strengthened rules. Success would be ensured by eliminating loopholes from the ESR, by closing trade-offs between sinks and removals and reduction in ETS sectors, starting deep reductions from real emission levels, and introducing a fully transparent reporting and trading system.

The Effort Sharing Regulation has already launched positive processes and generated responses in the several Member States. We need to build on this momentum, ensuring that Europe responds to climate science with effective action driven by robust and courageous goals in all EU Member States.

The Climate Reality Project Europe is asking You to lead the change. At the same time, we pledge our help in building support among citizens by explaining the benefits of the progressive, pioneering strategies embodied in the Effort Sharing Regulation.

This letter has been signed by the Climate Reality Europe network of volunteers trained by our chairman, former US Vice President Al Gore.

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