The European Commission (EC) proposed toughening the European Union’s (EU) 2030 emissions-reduction target to at least 55%, according to Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission on Wednesday.
The new goal is to lower emissions in the bloc from the current 40% target by 2030 relative to 1990 levels and raise it to a 55% target.
The existing 40% objective was adopted six years ago, but last year EU emissions were only around 25% below 1990 levels.
The EC’s new 55% target proposal now requires the approval of both the Parliament and the Council.
Simone Tagliapietra, a research fellow at Bruegel, lauded the new goal as a good step for Europe, and on his Twitter account said that a stronger carbon price is needed.
"The EU has taken a good step in the right direction. A 55% target will send a clear signal to market players on the solidity of the EU climate trajectory. This is key to shape expectations and influence companies’ investment decisions & consumers’ choices," he noted.
Tagliapietra said that the EU has the opportunity to lead by example with its new target.
"In 2021, the signatories of the Paris Agreement will present in Glasgow their new emissions reduction plans for 2030. This is a key occasion to raise global climate ambition, and with its 55% target the EU will lead by example," he said.
However, he warned that there is much work ahead to achieve this target. "But the journey starts now. Once the 55% destination is set in the climate GPS, the EU needs to focus on safely driving there. Focus must switch from targets to pathways. That’s where problems will emerge. These are long-debated issues & some will keep being uphill battles."
By Murat Temizer