EU leaders agree to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030 after all-night talks
European Union leaders have agreed on a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels. The previous goal was to reduce by at least 40% by 2030.
President of the European Council Charles Michel (Charles Michel) confirmed the news on Twitter on Friday morning, naming Europe «a leader in the fight against climate change». New goal was achieved at the summit held in Brussels, Belgium.
Ursula von der Leyen (Ursula von der Leyen), head of the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, said the target «will put us on a clear path to climate neutrality by 2050».
The EU’s adoption of the 55% target comes ahead of this weekend’s Climate Change Ambition Summit, co-hosted by the United Nations (UN, United Nations, UN), UK and France in partnership with Italy and Chile.
Last week, the UK government said it intends to cut emissions by at least 68% by 2030 from 1990 levels..
The revised EU 2030 target now requires authorization from the European Parliament, directly elected by the legislature, which has called for 60% emission reductions by the end of this decade..
Among those who reacted to this news was Jitte Guteland (Jytte Guteland) MEP and European Parliament Rapporteur on European Climate Law.
«It’s important not to be fooled into thinking that the 55 percent target is enough», – said Guteland via Twitter on Friday. «I have a mandate from elected representatives in the European Parliament to promote new climate ambitions. I intend to do this when we meet and negotiate».
On the other hand, the European unit of Greenpeace said that the deal revealed «the reluctance of governments to follow science and tackle the root causes of the climate emergency».
Sebastian Man (Sebastian Mang), EU Greenpeace’s climate policy advisor, said the data showed the deal was «only the small improvement in emission reductions that the EU already expects to achieve».
«This shows that political convenience prevails over climate science and that most policymakers are still afraid to tackle major pollutants.», – he added.
Colin Roche (Colin Roche), Climate Justice Coordinator at Friends of the Earth Europe, said the new target «still far from the victory the climate needs».
This week marks the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, a landmark deal aimed at sustaining global warming «much lower» 2 degrees Celsius (35.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels and «continuing efforts» to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
«Our leaders must go further to ensure Europe’s equitable contribution to global action to reduce carbon emissions and the agreement they made in Paris five years ago», – stated Roche of «Friends of the Earth».
«Meanwhile, for this new target to be meaningful, planned new EU infrastructure spending must cut all fossil fuels.».