Overnight agreement: Europe will reduce CO2 emissions by at least 55 percent

Last night, Europe took a new step towards climate neutrality by 2050. Negotiators from the three institutions – Commission, Council and Parliament – agreed to commit to climate neutrality, and an interim reduction of CO2 emissions of at least 55 percent by 2030, in a Climate Act.

The moment is crucial because US President Joe Biden is calling an important climate summit later this week and Europe can now be an inspiring example. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen therefore welcomed the agreement on ‘this core element of the European Green Deal’: “Our political commitment to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050 is now also a legal commitment. The climate law puts the EU on the green path for a generation. It is our binding promise to our children and grandchildren. ”

Vice Commission President Frans Timmermans, responsible for the Green Deal in Brussels, spoke of ‘a milestone for the EU’: “Today’s agreement strengthens our global position as a leader in tackling the climate crisis (…) This is a good day for people and the planet. ”

Parliament, which was aiming for a slightly higher interim CO2 reduction (60 instead of ‘at least 55 percent’) will only respond substantively later this morning. It will then also become clearer about other elements of the agreement. For example, there is a commitment to achieve ‘negative CO2 emissions’ after 2050 (to break down the enormous amount of CO2 already present in the atmosphere), there is a new interim climate target in 2040 and the policy for CO2 storage and climate adaptation (adaptation to global warming) strengthened.

‘Too skinny’

The World Wildlife Fund and GroenLinks MEP Bas Eickhout react considerably more moderately to the results of last night than the Commission: the CO2 reduction for 2030 (55 percent), they say, is far behind what Parliament wanted (60) and even more so what considers science necessary (65 percent). Moreover, according to Eickhout and the WWF, the 55 percent from the agreement is not hard. Because millions of tons of CO2 storage in European forests and wetlands have also been included, only 52.8 percent of the 55 percent net remains, according to their accusation. Eickhout: ,, This is really too thin. ” Imke Lübbeke of the WWF: “Europe can beat itself on the chest now, but the reality is that it does not answer what science thinks we should do in the next ten years.”

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