Commission raises climate ambition and proposes 55% cut in emissions by 2030
The European Commission presented yesterday its plan to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. This level of ambition for the next decade will put the EU on a balanced pathway to reaching climate neutrality by 2050. The new target is based on a comprehensive Impact Assessment of the social, economic and environmental impacts. The Assessment demonstrates that this course of action is realistic and feasible. This raised ambition also underlines the EU’s continued global leadership, ahead of the next UN climate conference (COP26).
The Commission has today:
- tabled an amendment to the proposed European Climate Law, to include the 2030 emissions reduction target of at least 55% as a stepping stone to the 2050 climate neutrality goal;
- invited the Parliament and Council to confirm this 55% target as the EU’s new Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement, and to submit this to the UNFCCC by the end of this year;
- set out the legislative proposals to be presented by June 2021 to implement the new target, including: 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 CO2 standards for road vehicles.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission said: ““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. 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.”
In the Impact Assessment, based on a broad consultation process conducted over the past year, the Commission has thoroughly examined the effects on our economy, society and environment of reducing emissions by 50% to 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. The Impact Assessment has carefully considered the mix of policy instruments available and how each sector of the economy can contribute to these targets. The conclusion is that a balanced, realistic, and prudent pathway to climate neutrality by 2050 requires an emissions reduction target of at least 55% by 2030.
Achieving 55% greenhouse gas emissions reductions will require action in all sectors of the economy. A climate-neutral transition can only be accomplished with contributions from everyone. CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. Together with fugitive non-CO2 emissions in the energy system, they are responsible for just over 75% of EU greenhouse gas emissions. This underlines the energy system’s central role in the transition to a climate neutral economy. Buildings and transport are, alongside industry, the main energy users and source of emissions. Decarbonising both energy supply and demand is key to achieving climate neutrality.