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Dear members of the European Council, This is a joint letter of Youth and Elders organizations to the European Council. As we speak, youth are leading the charge for climate action. As parents and grandparents we are the generation of first responders to environmental crises since the early 1970s. In general our generation has not been very effective and we are happy to see our children and grandchildren voicing our common concerns so eloquently.

To be able to reach the pledges and ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement the EU has set a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. To make that decision credible, we need to set more ambitious goals for the shorter term, i.e. this decade towards 2030. We urge EU leaders to commit to a target of at least 60% CO2-equivalent emission reductions by 2030 compared to 1990. The Commission has proposed that the EU would cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, up from the current 40% target. This is to align the EU’s climate action in the next decade with the EU’s objective of climate neutrality by 2050. The new 2030 target would be an important contribution to China’s recent announcement and comparable ones by Korea, Japan and South Africa in kickstarting a global process of “ratcheting up” ambition. This process is the backbone of the Paris Agreement designed to bring countries progressively in line with trajectories compatible with limiting global temperature increase to well below 2°C, aiming for 1.5°C. Members of the European Parliament have endorsed the objective of reaching 60% emission by 2030. Broad sectors of the economy support targets ranging from at least 55% (CEOs, investors, trade unions, regions) to 65% (civil society organizations) or higher (youth activists). Timing is critical. We call upon the EU leaders at the European Council to endorse a new climate target to be on time for the international summit on 12th December, reaffirming the world’s commitment to the Paris Agreement at its 5th anniversary. If the EU is committed to an ambitious target it will demonstrate that momentum behind climate action persists in the face of COVID-19.

Signatories: Grands-parents pour le Climat, Belgium Grootouders voor het Klimaat, Belgium Youth for Climate, Belgium Fridays For Future, Denmark Grands-parents pour le Climat, France Grandparents4Future, Germany Grootouders voor het Klimaat, Netherlands Young Climate Movement, Netherlands Grandparents Climate Campaign, Norway Nature and Youth - Young Friends of the Earth, Norway Våra barns klimat, Sweden Grands-parents pour le Climat / Klima-Grosseltern, Switzerland Grandparents for a Safe Earth, United Kingdom