Interview: CAN director Wendel Trio on COP25, Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion

For over a decade, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe has been on the frontline of the Brussels policy debate over Europe's response to rising temperatures, already a degree above pre-industrial average. As EU negotiators headed to Madrid for the 25th conference of parties to the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, director Wendel Trio told ENDS that time is running out for Europe to take the lead in global talks, and why established NGOs and street protesters both have a role to play in forcing politicians to act.

The interview took place on 29 November, just hours before the European Parliament declared a state of climate emergency and called again for the EU Council to raise the EU 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target by 15 points to 55% below annual output in 1990.

The same morning, CAN Europe urged governments not to wait, and to revise their national energy and climate plans (NECPs) – to be finalised by the end of the year – in line target beyond 40%. β€œThe fact that we say this should be the minimum is not because we don't believe the target will be increased soon,” Trio said. The current goal dates back a year before the 2015 Paris Agreement, but still forms the basis of Europe's contribution to global action.

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