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Press release |

EU 2040 climate target: Green/EFA push for phasing out all fossil fuels to make the EU climate neutral by 2040

Today, the Commission presented their proposed 2040 climate target for the EU. It includes a 90 percent reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2040 (compared to 1990 levels), following up on the commitments obtained by the Greens/EFA group from Wopke Hoekstra and Maros Sefcovic in September 2023. The Commission's Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change stresses the EU has already exhausted its fair share of the remaining global greenhouse gas budget to keep in line with the 1.5 degree target. It urges the EU to aim for the highest level of ambition to minimise our emissions. The Greens/EFA Group is calling for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions reduction by the year 2040. The Commission is expected to present draft legislation at a later stage.  

Bas Eickhout MEP, Vice-President of the Greens/EFA Group and Vice-Chair of the Environment Committee, comments:

“The analysis clearly shows that more ambition is better for the climate, our health and our economy. However when it comes to fossil fuels, the Commission recognises that an economy free of fossil fuels will be cheaper for our citizens and our industry and it will cut off dependence on foreign autocrats. But the Commission does not go so far as to propose a fully renewables-based economy by 2040. Instead, it still relies on nuclear and carbon capture even in the energy sector. This is both expensive and unnecessary, and is above all counterproductive in our race for global competition for green technologies. We need a full phase-out of all fossil fuels in EU law now. We cannot linger any longer: We need a strong green industrial policy and to ramp-up European investments. The climate and our economy depend on it.”

Pär Holmgren MEP, Greens/EFA Member of the Environment Committee, comments:

“The recommendation from the EU Advisory Board on Climate Change is clear: We have already exhausted our fair share of the global greenhouse gas budget to stay below 1.5 degrees. The EU must do all it can to accelerate its emissions reduction if we are to stand any chance to fulfil the Paris Agreement, and respond to the acute threat of the climate crisis. A massive push to increase energy efficiency and scale up the deployment of renewables must be at the forefront of the EU’s path towards climate neutrality. 

“But it is not enough to simply look 16 years ahead and hope for technological development or fantasise about new nuclear power to reduce emissions sometime in the late 2030s. We need to align all legislation with the Paris Agreement this decade. Right now, the EU will not meet our current climate targets. Member States need to step up urgently." 


Watch the plenary debate live today with Bas Eickhout, scheduled from 15:00 on  https://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/home.html

Greens/EFA demands EU Post-2030 Climate Targets - letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Commissioners Maroš Šefčovič and Wopke Hoekstra



European Parliament building in Strasbourg / © European Union 2019 / Architecture-Studio
European Parliament building in Strasbourg / © European Union 2019 / Architecture-Studio
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Bas Eickhout
Bas Eickhout
Pär Holmgren
Pär Holmgren

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