Eight European countries have called for an ambitious strategy to tackle climate change – and to spend a quarter of the entire EU budget on fighting it.
The joint statement says the EU should have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 “at the latest”.
It was signed by France, Belgium, Denmark, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.
The group says their plan can “go hand in hand with prosperity” and “set an example for other countries to follow.”
The position paper comes ahead of a major summit of European leaders in the Romanian city of Sibiu, beginning on Thursday, which will discuss the future of Europe and the EU’s strategy for the next five years.
But not everyone is on board – there are 28 countries in the EU, and several of those absent from the joint position statement are significant players – including Germany.
What does the paper say?
The position of the eight countries is that climate change has “profound implications for the future of humanity” and that its impacts are already apparent – citing “the heat waves and scorching fires of last summer”.
The group also say that their citizens are clearly concerned “as shown by the recent mobilisation of young people” – in an apparent reference to the wave of walk-outs and marches by schoolchildren across the continent.
The Extinction Rebellion protests in London in April also gained widespread attention and have spread to other countries.
“The EU budget currently under negotiation will be an important tool in this respect: at least 25% of the spending should go to projects aimed at fighting against climate change,” the paper said.
Read more: BBC