BRUSSELS - A majority of European Union lawmakers hoped to declare a "climate emergency" on Monday, a week before a United Nations climate conference in Madrid.
Members of the European Parliament said the declaration would increase pressure on the incoming EU executive, expected to start work on December 1, to take a stronger leading role in the global fight against climate change.
"The EU must act together and lead by example in international climate negotiations through concrete actions and measures," the centre-left Socialists and Democrats (S&D), the second largest group of lawmakers in the parliament, said in a statement.
They plan to pass the symbolic declaration during a debate on the United Nations' COP25 climate summit, which opens on Dec. 2 in Madrid.
Lawmakers also stressed the declaration needed to be backed up with action. "For me, it is not enough to declare a climate emergency," Mohammed Chahim, the S&D's leading lawmaker on the parliament's resolution ahead of the U.N. summit, told Reuters, drawing the parallel to a house being on fire.