EU climate target of -55% would mean near-exit from coal in 2030 – experts

(Clean Energy Wire, 5 Oct 2020) Stepping up the 2030 EU climate target to an emission reduction of at least 55 percent as proposed by the European Commission would very likely require the bloc to phase out coal almost entirely by that date, according to experts. The move, which is backed by current EU Council presidency Germany, would also have far-reaching consequences for Germany's coal exit plans, the experts told Clean Energy Wire. The country would have to effectively bring forward its phaseout of the climate-damaging fossil fuel, currently scheduled for 2038 at the latest.

The EU Commission proposal to step up climate ambitions and aim for an emissions cut of at least 55 percent by 2030 would imply that the bloc must almost entirely phase out coal by that date, experts say.

Therefore, this target would also imply that countries like Germany will likely have to pull forward current plans for exiting the emission-intensive fuel. Germany, which officially backed the more ambitious target this week, currently plans to phase out coal by 2038 at the latest.  

In its proposal, the European Commission said that buildings and the electricity sector can make the largest and most cost-efficient contribution to reaching a 55 percent emissions cut.


In an analysis of the EU's Impact Assessment on raising the EU 2030 climate target, Belgian consultancy Climact and think tank Ecologic estimate that coal will only represent around two percent of the EU's power mix in 2030 in different scenarios.

External link

Clean Energy Wire, 5 Oct 2020: EU climate target of -55% would mean near-exit from coal in 2030 – experts