Reactions: Deal on EU’s 2030 climate target is a big step, but won’t close the gap to 2050
(EurActiv, 15 Dec 2020) EU heads of states have agreed on a 55% reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, but the inclusion of carbon sinks and the choice of 1990 as the baseline year have led environmentalists to criticise the deal for lacking ambition.
When EU leaders agreed a new climate goal for 2030 on Friday morning after a night of marathon talks, there was a smell of victory in the air.
“Kudos to the EU for pulling the future into the present, with huge benefits for people, planet and profit,” said Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
“I am very happy to be a European these days. Europe committed to climate neutrality by 2050, and now, just as importantly, to put climate and environment at the centre of its economy and society. It’s no longer a climate goal – it’s a societal goal for the EU,” said Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation (ECF).
Yet, environmental NGOs were quick to point out that the 55% emissions reduction goal, as ambitious as it seems, is insufficient to contain global warming to manageable levels.
Global emissions need to fall by 7.6% annually until 2030 to reach the 1.5°C target in the Paris Agreement, according to the United Nations’ Emissions Gap report.
That would require a 65% emissions cut in Europe by 2030, something environmental NGOs were keen to highlight on Friday as EU leaders gave their blessing to the 55% goal.