European Commission ups emissions reduction target

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

The European Commission has presented a plan which seeks to reduce the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, in a bid to reach climate neutrality by 2050.

The Commission today tabled an amendment to the proposed European Climate Law, and invited the European Parliament and member states to confirm the 55% target by the end of the year.

It also set out various legislative proposals which are to be presented by next June in a bid to achieve the new target, which include revising and expanding the EU Emissions Trading System, adapting the Effort Sharing Regulation and the framework for land use emissions, reinforcing energy efficiency and renewable energy policies; and strengthening emissions standards for road vehicles.

 “We are doing everything in our power to keep the promise that we made to Europeans: make Europe the first climate neutral continent in the world, by 2050. Today marks a major milestone in this journey,” Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

“With the new target to cut EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, we will lead the way to a cleaner planet and a green recovery. Europe will emerge stronger from the coronavirus pandemic by investing in a resource-efficient circular economy, promoting innovation in clean technology and creating green jobs.”

The previous target was to reduce emissions by 40%, but the Commission noted that the EU was on already course to surpass this.

“This shows that being more ambitious is not only necessary, but also realistic,” Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson maintained.