Petition signatories call on the prime minister to support stricter EU climate goals

More than 65,000 people have signed the Climate Needs You petition.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: SITA)

More than 65,000 people have already signed the Climate Needs You petition, which calls on the government to support stricter EU climate goals.

PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) is expected to attend the EU Council session on October 15, during which the climate crisis will also be discussed. The EU plans to propose toughening up its climate goals to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050. This means that the current plan to reduce carbon emissions 40 percent by 2030 should be increased to 60 percent.

Scientists, experts and non-governmental organisations say the goal should be even higher, at 65 percent.

“PM Igor Matovič should keep his pre-election promises, when three of the current four ruling parties declared support for reducing the emissions of Slovakia by 65 percent before 2040,” said Michal Sabo, one of the petition’s initiators.

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This is why he should support the highest-possible reduction of carbon emissions during the discussion. Apart from the signatories of the petition, a broad coalition of NGOs has joined the call.

A historic chance

“We understand that the priority these days is the solution to the coronavirus crisis,” said Marta Fandlová, another initiator of the petition and coordinator of The Young for Climate organisation, pointing to the fact that there is an even bigger threat in the form of climate crisis. “It will require costs worth billions, as well as millions of climate refugees, the problems with supplies and new diseases.”

Although the change will require high costs, there is a historic chance in the form of an EU rescue package.

The NGOs also came with the measures, naming their plan the Green Restart.

“The support of stricter EU climate goals is only the first step,” said Jakub Hrbáň from Fridays for Future Slovakia. “Slovakia needs a detailed plan to reduce emissions. Thus people are asking for a clear strategy for carbon neutrality to be prepared.”

The Climate Needs You initiative is also asking MPs to declare a climate emergency with the aim for Slovakia to achieve carbon neutrality in 2040, and oblige the government to prepare a bonding plan and strategy on how to achieve this by the end of 2021.

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