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PES leaders joined by MEPs, Trade Unions and NGOs to address environmental issues

The Party of European Socialists (PES) today held a meeting of its Environment and Climate Change Network. The network brings together representatives of the PES’ member parties, Members of the European Parliament, trade unions and civil society to develop and promote progressive environmental and climate change policies. Speakers at the meeting included Aurore Maillet, member of cabinet of Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and Artur Runge-Metzger, Director of Directorate International & Climate Strategy in the European Commission’s DG Climate Action, and MEP Jo Leinen to discuss the state of play of the Commission’s proposals for a circular economy and the COP21 process. 

MEP Jo Leinen, chairman of the PES Environment and Climate Change Network, said: ‘The transition to a decarbonised and resource efficient economy is at the heart of the progressive vision for sustainable growth in Europe. We need to join efforts to make this objective reality for the benefit of our citizens and the environment.’

He added ‘Scientific evidence is clear that human-induced climate change is responsible for extreme weather events causing ever more environmental, social and economic damage. In the run-up to the COP21 climate summit in Paris, we will support all efforts to reach a global, legally-binding agreement to keep global warming beyond the two degrees Celsius objective.’

We will also support the work of Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella in creating a circular economy that uses natural resources more efficiently and avoids waste in the first place. We want a circular economy that stops environmental degradation and threats to ecosystems, helps to boost the European economy and to give it competitive advantages on a sustainable basis. 

For European Socialists, environmental protection is also a social matter as it is first and foremost the most vulnerable in society – in Europe and world-wide – who suffer the consequences of global warming and environmental degradation. To those challenges the PES strives for political answers that protect the environment while creating high-quality jobs, enhancing people’s well-being and finding broad public support. Exchanging views on environment and climate change policies between our member parties, trade unions and civil society through this Network’s meetings is therefore of utmost importance.’

With adopting the resolution ‘Roadmap for a Progressive Europe’, the PES committed to fighting global warming and creating a comprehensive circular economy during its Congress on 12 and 13 June in Budapest.

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