Next year’s EU budget should include fighting climate change, MEPs said in a resolution voted on July 5.

The resolution, which sets out principles for MEPs to follow in 2019 budget negotiations with the Council, was prepared by budget rapporteur Daniele Viotti (S&D, IT) and approved by 399 votes to 146, with 87 abstentions.

In the text, MEPs demand an increase in climate spending, to enable the EU to meet its “climate mainstreaming” target (at least 20% of the EU budget to be climate-related in 2014-2020).

Socialists and Democrats are leading the fight against global warming and a just transition to a low-carbon economy, as the only way to make sure that this century the global temperature rise will be well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels is by continuing to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C, as agreed in the 2015 UN Climate Summit in Paris, S&D said in a press release. However, the EU needs the right strategy and the means to bring more countries into this global fight.

MEP Arne Lietz, who is the Parliament’s rapporteur in the foreign affairs committee, said: “In order to implement the goals of the Paris Agreement globally, we have to strengthen the climate diplomacy capacities of the European External Action Service with regards to personal as well as financial means. This also includes empowering the EU delegations in partner countries to integrate the issue more strongly into their agenda.”

Lietz noted that this should be reflected in the new Multiannual Financial Framework through an enforced budget line for climate diplomacy and climate action. “Against this backdrop I call on the European Commission to take up the Parliament’s proposal, and to strengthen EU climate diplomacy substantially and sustainably – including in future legislative proposals,” Lietz said.

MEP Jo Leinen, who is the Parliament’s rapporteur in the environment committee, said: “The EU should become a climate champion in all policy areas. The European Commission should make ratification and implementation of the Paris Agreement a condition for future trade agreements. Climate change can have severe negative impacts on regional stability. Rapid climate action will contribute not only to a healthier planet, but also to increased security. The EU should monitor climate change related risks in different regions of the world and improve conflict prevention strategies.”

Leinen stressed that the Climate Conference in Katowice next December will be an important moment for the EU to prove climate leadership by presenting an ambitious 2050-strategy and increased 2030-targets. “A strong EU climate policy is a promising way to get other partners on board in Poland and to build a global alliance for strong climate action,” Leinen said.