Weak climate targets risks undermining European Green Deal
Climate Law deal reached
Late last night, negotiators from the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission reached an agreement on the European Climate Law. The sticking point in the negotiations was the emission reductions target for 2030, which now stands at net 55%. This equates to only 52.8% of direct emissions reductions when excluding carbon sinks. The Parliament was successful in its demands for an independent scientific climate council and a carbon budget.
On Thursday and Friday this week (22 and 23 April), the US government will host a virtual World Leaders Summit On Climate. In June, the European Commission will present its package for implementing the climate goals, which will include legislative proposals on energy efficiency, emissions trading and energy taxation.
Michael Bloss MEP, Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur on the European Climate Law in the Environment Committee, comments:
"With this 2030 climate target, the EU is not doing enough to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, which threatens the fate of current and future generations to a world of climate chaos and economic hardship. The Commission and Council, along with their supporters in the conservatives groups, have rushed through a weak Climate Law for the sake of a photo-op with President Joe Biden and missed the chance for the EU to be a global leader on climate action.
"In order to protect the climate and mitigate the worst effects of climate change on our planet, people and for future generations, we need an ambitious and effective European Green Deal. What the Commission so far has delivered is weak. It is not worth being called 'Europe´s Man on the Moon project': We need to save the European Green Deal now.
"The Commission has a last chance when it releases its 'Fit for 55' package in June to propose strong climate policy with a high CO2-price above a hundred euros and an end for combustion engine cars by 2030, as well as a clear plan to switch to fully renewable energy sources as soon as possible."
Bas Eickhout MEP, Greens/EFA Vice President of the Environment Committee, comments:
"While we welcome the long overdue introduction of a Climate Law, the targets set in tonight's deal risk making the European Green Deal little more than a slogan for the Commission and Council. The blockade against ambitious targets by the majority of EU governments undermines the fight against climate change and makes the European Union a weak global partner. The addition of an independent scientific council and carbon budget are the silver linings of this agreement, which will at least serve as a base for future action. However, the overall agreement is simply not ambitious enough for the EU to do its part towards saving the climate."
Unfortunately, the European Parliament did not prevail in its demand for an strong climate target of a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The Greens/EFA group have been calling for 65% in line with the recommendations of scientists. As it stands, the European Climate Law will continue to allow the financing of fossil fuels.