The EU’s greenhouse gas reduction target is set to rise from 40 percent to at least 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, according to an agreement agreed by ambassadors of the EU countries.
An agreement had previously been reached by the Portuguese Presidency representing the Council of the EU and the European Parliament.
Regarding the 2030 target, negotiators agreed that reducing emissions should be prioritized, not removals.
Other elements of the agreement include the establishment of a European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change, made up of 15 scientific experts of different nationalities, with no more than two nationals from the same Member State for a period of four years.
New advisory board
This independent council aims, inter alia, deal with scientific advice and reporting on climate goals and the EU’s international commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Negotiators agreed that the Commission will propose an interim climate target for 2040, “where appropriate, at the latest six months after the first global stocktake under the Paris Agreement”.
At the same time, it will publish the projected indicative budget of the European Union for the reduction of greenhouse gases for the years 2030–2050 along with the basic methodology.
The budget is defined as the indicative total net greenhouse gas emissions (expressed as CO2 equivalent and with separate information on emissions and removals) to be emitted over that period without jeopardizing the Union’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Negotiators also agreed that the Commission will work with economic sectors that choose to prepare indicative voluntary action plans to achieve the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality target. The Commission will monitor the development of such plans and facilitate dialogue at EU level.
The agreement also sets the EU’s ambitious goal of striving to achieve negative emissions after 2050.
Reduction of greenhouse gases
The European Commission proposed last September to raise the greenhouse gas reduction target from the current 40 percent to 55 percent.
At the EU summit in October, the leaders of the member states discussed this subject, but decided that they would make the final decision at the meeting in December. In December, they reached a political agreement to increase the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 by at least 55 percent.
Earlier in October, the European Parliament voted in favor of a more ambitious target – raising the 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target to 60 percent compared to 1990 emissions. Ultimately, however, on Wednesday morning, the EP negotiators agreed to 55 percent.
The climate law proposal presented by the European Commission earlier this year is an element of the European Green Deal, the flagship program of the present Commission, which is to make the European Union climate neutral by 2050.
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