EU leaders reach consensus on 55% emissions reduction by 2030
European Union (EU) leaders have reached an agreement to reduce the bloc’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by the end of the next decade from 1990 levels, a announced the President of the European Council Charles Michel.
“Europe is the leader in the fight against climate change. We have decided to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030,” he tweeted early Friday morning.
Member states have given the green light to the European Commission’s proposal to harden the bloc’s medium-term goal as part of the long-term goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050, Xinhua reported.
The deal was reached following overnight talks as part of the leaders’ two-day summit in Brussels. Some Member States, especially those still dependent on coal, had opposed the ambitious plans but ultimately agreed to support the enhanced target.
The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, welcomed the climate agreement during a joint press conference with Michel and German Chancellor Angela Merkel following the European Council meeting on Friday.
“Today’s agreement puts us on the path to climate neutrality in 2050. It gives certainty to investors, businesses, public authorities and citizens. It ensures the sustainability of our Union,” he said. she said, praising the German EU Presidency.
She said the European Green Agreement will be the EU’s growth strategy. “All EU countries stand to benefit from the transition – with economic growth, a cleaner environment and healthier citizens,” she said.
In his annual State of the Union address in September, von der Leyen described the 55% reduction target by 2030 as “ambitious, achievable and beneficial for Europe”.
The European Parliament’s environment committee voted for more stringent emission cuts, calling for an ambitious 60% reduction by 2030 instead of the 55% proposed by the Commission.
The agreement was reached ahead of the Ambition Climate Summit to be held on Saturday, which will bring together world leaders including those from the United Nations, France, Great Britain, Chile, Italy and China.
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