For European Commissioner Frans Timmermans, limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees is not just political. “This is personal,” he said at the climate summit in Glasgow during his daily speech. The 60-year-old Timmermans told about his 1-year-old grandson.
“If we succeed, he will live in a livable world. With a clean economy and clean air. If we fail, he will fight with other people for water and food. That is the harsh reality,” said the EU’s climate commissioner.
For Timmermans, the limit of 1.5 degrees is about “preventing an unlivable world” for future generations. He pointed out that island states such as Palau, Barbados and the Marshall Islands are already in trouble due to climate change. “Keeping 1.5 degrees alive should be at the heart of our conclusions today,” said the Dutch EU director. “We have to stay on that track, and we have to do that between now and next year.” That remark was followed by applause from supporters in the plenary hall at the top.
“As the European Union, we are doing our part,” Timmermans continued. “If we have to do more, we will do more.”
Important points for the EU are that the use of coal is being phased out, as are fossil fuel subsidies. There is still a lot of discussion about the wording in which this should be stated in the final statement.
Furthermore, according to Timmermans, more money should go to poor countries. He pointed out that the EU is already leading the way in this regard. And then, there is the so-called rulebook, in which the agreements from the Paris climate agreement of 2015 are translated into concrete rules. That really needs to be done now, according to the EU climate man. He calls the compromise on this table that is on the table in Glasgow better than that at the previous climate summit in Madrid.
“We can find a way out,” said Timmermans. “Let’s build on the results that have already been achieved.”