Climate activists attack EU Commission, as Cañete attends COP21 signing ceremony

Irene Kostaki

Climate activists react to World Earth Day vandalizing the Berlaymont, just hours before the COP21 Paris Agreement signing ceremony in New York

Cañete: “Before the start of this summer, the European Commission will present a proposal to our Member States to ratify the Paris Agreement on behalf of the European Union”


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A group of activists have vandalised the the sign next to the main entrance of the European Commission’s headquarters, the Berlaymont building in Brussels.

Some hours before the signing ceremony of the COP21 Paris Agreement in New York during Earth Day, a group of climate activists wrote a message on the Berlaymont building’s facade with spray paint, throwing flowers, red paint and hay on the external premises.

The activists wrote “COP21 M’A TUER” (COP21 killed me) on the wall, before being sent away by a light police force. The Commission managed to clear the mess made, and remove the message facade within an hour, so as to minimise the exposure of the incident.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Cañete in New York represents the EU in signing ceremony

“Men argue, nature acts,” were the words that Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, responsible for Climate Action & Energy delivered in his speech. “Voltaire’s prophetic message three centuries ago has proved devastatingly accurate,” suggested the Commissioner, underlining that after much time, action was taken in climate change. “That final plenary in Paris must go down as a defining moment for our planet. On a personal note, thinking back to the shared ambition, determination and positive spirit in that room still makes me proud,” he added.

“It won’t be easy. Change of this scale never is,” stressed Cañete, appearing ready to lead Europe to do more. “We need to go further and faster. That is why we have set ourselves a tough target of cutting emissions by at least 40% by 2030,” as Europe will continue to work with others abroad.

On implementation, Cañete admitted that public budgets are small and need to grow for environmental envelopes, predicting that through development the economies will be able to contribute more, “but also because acting early makes economic sense.”

“Europe’s shoulders are broad but we cannot face this challenge alone. We account for only 9% of global emissions. We all share responsibility and all large emitters must lead the way.”

“When it comes to ratifying the Paris Agreement, Europe will do so by securing the support of our 29 parliaments, and by demonstrating that we will have the policies in place to meet our commitments,” concluded Cañete, assuring that the European Commission will deliver as soon as possible. “Before the start of this summer, the European Commission will present a proposal to our Member States to ratify the Paris Agreement on behalf of the European Union.”

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