Monday

29th Nov 2021

Higher EU climate target 'economically feasible'

  • Researchers highlight that there is “no credible pathway” to climate neutrality by 2050 without higher contributions from countries like Poland or the Czech Republic

The EU's plan to reduce the bloc's greenhouse emissions by 55 percent by 2030 is "technically and economically feasible," according to a new report published on Monday (24 August) by German think-tank Agora Energiewende and environmental research institute Öko-Institut.

In September, the European Commission will present a revised EU 2030 emissions reduction target aligned with its 2050 climate-neutrality target set in the Green Deal.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • The European Commission will propose increasing the 2030 emission-reduction target to between 50 and 55 percent (Photo: European Environment Agency)

To do so, the EU executive is expected to propose increasing the 2030 emission-reduction target from the existing 40 percent goal to between 50 and 55 percent.

The report points out that the reform of the EU emissions trading system (ETS) scheme, which covers emissions from power plants, energy-intensive industry, and commercial flights, could be key to reduce emissions quickly.

To deliver the 55 percent target, researchers estimate that the emissions covered by the EU carbon market should fall to 61 percent from 2005 levels - a bigger cut than the 43 percent reduction the ETS is set to deliver by 2030.

Additionally, emissions from sectors not covered by the EU carbon market, such as buildings, agriculture, and waste, should also drop by 47 percent from 2005 levels.

However, member states remain divided about a higher EU 2030 target, as central and eastern European countries have expressed concerns about different starting positions and possibly deepening inequalities.

Still, researchers highlighted that there was "no credible pathway" to climate neutrality by 2050 without higher contributions from countries like Poland or the Czech Republic, which have tried to water down calls for higher climate ambition in the EU.

Moreover, the report indicates that the recently proposed €1.85 trillion stimulus package does not provide "adequate safeguards" to ensure that the EU budget will help poorer member states ramp up investment in buildings, power, transport, and industry.

"It is crucial that, as part of the EU budget agreement, dedicated EU facilities are established to accelerate climate action in critical areas, with a special focus on poorer member states," the report says.

Another proposed option would be a new EU-wide system of auctioning emissions permits not covered by the ETS, with proceeds directed to help low-income EU countries.

Meanwhile, green groups have previously warned that increasing the 2030 climate target from 40 percent to between 50 and 55 percent is still not aligned with the Paris climate agreement and efforts to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees - calling for at least 65 percent in reduction targets.

Socialist Swedish MEP Jytte Guteland, who is the European Parliament's climate law rapporteur, announced earlier this year that she will try to push for a 65 percent emission-reduction target by 2030.

East vs West split in EU on higher Green Deal target

Eight EU countries on Tuesday called on the European Commission to strengthen the Green Deal, while central and eastern Europe remain cautious - citing different starting positions and deepen inequalities.

Analysis

China's carbon pledge at UN sends 'clear message' to US

China's pledge to become carbon neutral before 2060 is "good news" for Europe, but it sends a clear message to Washington ahead of the US election - in which climate change has become a significant aspect for voters.

EU's new 2030 climate target slammed on 'accounting trick'

The EU's updated 2030 climate-target plan, due to be presented by the European Commission, have been criticised for including land and forest carbon sinks in its emissions-reduction goal. Green groups describe it as an "accounting trick".

MEPs ignore Commission to vote for 60% climate target

The European Parliament voted in favour of a 60-percent emissions-reduction target by 2030 in the first-ever EU climate law. MEPs also supported an interim 2040 target, and making the EU's 2050 climate-neutrality target binding for each member state.

News in Brief

  1. Covid variant: EU to block travel from southern Africa
  2. France and UK seek EU help on Channel migrants
  3. New Swedish PM who resigned after 7 hours gets second chance
  4. Belgium to decide on Friday on Covid measures
  5. UK rings alarm on new Covid strain in South Africa
  6. Turkish police use tear gas at women's rights march
  7. Poland calls for more Nato troops
  8. Ex-Navalny aide leaves Russia

EU faces long wait for full vaccine supplies

The EU is still several months away from having enough vaccines to inoculate its 450 million people, with Pfizer and BioNTech, its principle suppliers, aiming for September for delivery targets.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew report reveals bad environmental habits
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersImproving the integration of young refugees
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals

Latest News

  1. Belgium goes into three-week 'lockdown light'
  2. MEPs list crimes of 'Kremlin proxy' mercenaries
  3. EU to open up 'black box' of political ads
  4. Can the ECB solve climate change and inflation on its own?
  5. EU set to limit vaccine certificate to nine months
  6. Surprise coalition in Romania without former Renew's Ciolos
  7. This 'Black Friday' is a turning point in corporate accountability
  8. West struggling to show strength on Ukraine

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us