Representatives of the European Parliament and the Council of Member States in Brussels early Wednesday announced tightening of climate targets in the European Union. Now the reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 should be at least 55%, compared with the previously approved 40%.
“This is an outstanding moment for the EU and a powerful signal to the whole world,” Frans Timmermans, Vice President of the EU Commission, wrote on Twitter. “Our commitment to a climate neutral EU will shape our policies for the next 30 years. This is a good day for people and the planet. ”
After more than 15 hours of negotiations, the negotiators in the European Parliament finally adopted the program, which the EU heads of state and government approved at the end of 2020. The EU parliament actually wanted much more: a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a stricter calculation method. The deputies made concessions only in details.
Besides the percentage, the main point of contention was whether and to what extent the amount of carbon dioxide stored in forests, plants and soils should be included. MEPs complain that the inclusion of these so-called sinks weakens the emission reduction target. Instead of 55 percent, the actual savings would have been only 52.8 percent, Greens in particular complained.
As a result, the European parliamentarians agreed at least that the calculation of storage facilities will be limited to 225 million tons of carbon dioxide. The EU Commission should increase the binding capacity of forests to 300 million tons of carbon dioxide through afforestation, so that net greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by more than 55%.
Parliament managed to create a climate council with 15 experts to support the implementation of the goals. In addition, a budget for greenhouse gas emissions for the next several decades has been determined, from which a milestone for 2040 can be determined.
The toughened 2030 target is a step towards making the EU climate neutral by 2050. To achieve this goal, almost all greenhouse gases must be stopped or stored in storage. This will require a comprehensive restructuring of the economy over the next 30 years towards renewable energy and emission-free production methods.