Dear Martin (Lidegaard),
Dear Jeppe (Kofod),
Members of Parliament from across Europe, Members of EUFORES and of this distinguished house, the Folketinget,
There couldn’t be a better timing for our meeting than today:
- a week after the EU Ministers under the Slovak Presidency approved the ratification of the Paris Agreement
- 3 days after the positive vote in the European Parliament
- and the very same day when the ratification of this deal is celebrated at the UN headquarters in New York. Together with my colleague, Commissioner Arias Cañete and European ministers, they are celebrating, on behalf of all of us, the entry into force of the first universal climate deal which now binds all countries.
There are many conclusions that can be drawn from this success. Some people attribute it to the power of multilateralism in the 21st century and our ability to negotiate highly complex agreements through international organisations; others to the proliferation of social actors who kept this topic high on the agenda, or to the decisive role of the EU in steering, encouraging, and promoting this Agreement. But any way you look at it, this Agreement would not have been possible without the support of national parliaments across Europe who pushed for an ambitious agreement, and for Europe to pave the way.
I would therefore like to start by thanking you for your leadership, support, and proactive action. European citizens should know that this historic Agreement did not happen by itself; it happened because their elected decision-makers – notably you EUFORES Members – chose to make it a success.
This is particularly remarkable, given that until quite recently, the transition to clean and renewable energy was perceived as a marginal field, one which disrupts economic activity and therefore finds few supporters.