Q&A: European Commission calls for 90% cut in EU emissions by 2040

(CarbonBrief, 7 Feb 2024) The EU should cut its emissions to 90% below 1990 levels by 2040, according to a new roadmap released by the European Commission.

This will require an expanded and emissions-free power system within 16 years and an 80% reduction in the use of fossil fuels for energy, the new guidance states.

The goal is designed to bridge the gap between bloc’s existing short- and long-term emissions reduction targets. 

It kicks off a lengthy process in which EU politicians and institutions will grapple over the details of the proposal before it is cemented into law. 

The bloc is about to enter a major period of transition as a new European Parliament is due to be elected in June, followed by a new commission, the EU’s executive arm. The result of this could be a surge in opposition towards climate policy as EU politics swings to the right.

The recommendations come as farmers have been taking to the streets across Europe to voice their anger about environmental policies and other matters.

Meanwhile, business leaders are worried about EU industries maintaining their competitiveness against the likes of China and the US as they decarbonise.

In this Q&A, Carbon Brief outlines how the commission has tried to deal with these concerns, while also setting out an ambitious strategy that aligns with the EU’s domestic and international climate obligations.

External link

CarbonBrief, 7 Feb 2024: Q&A: European Commission calls for 90% cut in EU emissions by 2040