2024 lookahead: Climate target for 2040 will be EU Commission’s ‘legacy’, activists say

(EurActiv, 3 Jan 2024) The European Commission is expected to table its proposed climate target for 2040 on 6 February, in what many see as the current administration’s legacy for the new team that will be appointed to lead the Brussels-based executive after the June EU elections.

The EU’s appropriate level of ambition for 2040 was at the centre of debate when lawmakers in the European Parliament voted to approve the EU’s new Commissioner for Climate Action, Wopke Hoekstra, back in October.

Under pressure from MEPs, Hoekstra pledged to defend a 90% reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, in line with advice from the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change, which recommended a reduction of 90-95%.

For the environmental campaign group Carbon Market Watch, the 2040 target plan represents the last opportunity for the Commission to leave a legacy in the fight against climate change.

“We support the adoption of a legally-binding target to reduce gross emissions by more than 90% compared to 1990,” says Sam Van den Plas, policy director at Carbon Market Watch.

However, Van den Plas also made it clear that environmental groups were expecting the EU to adopt a much higher level of ambition, in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

External link

EurActiv, 3 Jan 2024: 2024 lookahead: Climate target for 2040 will be EU Commission’s ‘legacy’, activists say