N. Peter Kramer’s Weekly Column
Last night, the negotiators of the European Parliament and Council reached a provisional political agreement on the objective of a climate-neutral EU by 2050 and a collective net greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990. It sets the framework for EU’s legislation for the next 30 years.
The provisional agreement is still subject to approval by the Council and the Parliament before going through the formal steps of the adoption procedure, but the EU can send already a strong signal to the virtual World Leader’s Summit on Climate on April 22, organised and hosted by US President Joe Biden.
As expected, the 2030 target was the big political fight between the negotiators of Council and Parliament. The 55% target is lower than the 60% the Parliament had voted for. The Greens/EFA group in the EP was disappointed. In a press release they criticise, that the ‘weak climate targets risks undermining EU Green Deal’ and stated ‘the EU is not doing enough to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement’. The group ‘have been calling for 65% reduction in line with the recommendations of scientists’ and expect that ‘the agreement will continue to allow the financing of fossil fuels’.
Council negotiators, on the other hand, had quite some success. In the December summit the Council endorsed a binding target of a net reduction of 55%. In addition the 2050 climate goal will remain an objective for the EU to attain as a group, meaning some countries will be allowed to reach the objective later if others manage to decarbonise their economies sooner. And rightly so. In the end the real work has to be done in the member states.