EU leaders delay decision on climate because of economic considerations

Brussels, 21 March 2014 - Today, the leaders of the 28 EU Member States held their first discussion on the 2030 climate and energy policy framework at the European Council ahead of the 2015 UN climate conference in Paris and have failed to decide on the most important elements of the framework.


The Council agreed to take a final decision on the new policy framework no later than October 2014, ignoring the voice of different stakeholders (including the European Parliament, scientists, climate experts, the civil society, healthcare professionals and European citizens.  

Member States still have to ‘flesh out’ some elements, including the targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions, renewable energy and energy efficiency, but these will be fully in line with the EU’s long-term objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050, according to Council President, Herman Van Rompuy.

‘It is very regrettable that today EU leaders have given up on their ambitions on climate change for the sake of predictability for businesses and investors and pushed environmental and health concerns down on their agenda’ comments Kornélia Bagi, HCWH Europe’s Climate Policy Officer. ‘President Barroso stressed that the EU's climate and energy policy was based on three goals: security of supply, competitiveness and sustainability, yet EU leaders only showed determination to reduce the European Union’s energy dependency (with more energy efficiency and expanding renewable energy sources, among other measures) as it matters to energy prices and industrial competitiveness.’

The European Council will take stock of progress made on these issues at its meeting in June 2014.


Health Care Without Harm is an international coalition of more than 500 organisations in 53 countries, working to transform the healthcare sector worldwide, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it is ecologically sustainable and no longer a source of harm to public health and the environment. Visit the HCWH website for more information.

For further information, please contact: Kornelia Bagi, Climate Policy Officer,, 0032 2 5034911