EU needs to raise the 2030 emissions reduction target from 40 percent to 55 percent compared to 1990 levels in order to reach net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, the European Parliament announced on Wednesday.
Environment and Industry Committee Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) outlined their ideas on the EU’s long-term emissions reduction strategy in a meeting on Wednesday.
MEPs said only two of the eight scenarios proposed by the European Commission in its November communication would enable the EU to reach net-zero GHG emissions by 2050, the commitment made by the EU under the Paris climate agreement.
In the communication - A Clean Planet for all - adopted on Nov. 28 last year, the Commission presented its strategic, long-term vision for a climate-neutral economy by 2050, including eight possible pathways or scenarios.
While they support the Commission in pushing for these two scenarios, they argued that reaching this goal in the most cost-efficient manner requires raising the 2030 emission reduction target from 40 percent to 55 percent compared to 1990 levels.
"They call on EU leaders to support raising the level of ambition at the EU summit in Sibiu in May 2019, ahead of the UN climate summit in September," the parliament said.
It added that the EU’s net-zero strategy should prioritize direct emissions reductions and enhance natural carbon sinks and reservoirs, such as forests.
"Carbon removal technologies, that have yet to be deployed on a large scale, should be used only where no direct emission reduction options are available," it added.
- Renewable energy key
In a separate text adopted on Tuesday, Industry Committee MEPs said renewable energy and energy efficiency is key to achieving the transition towards a net-zero GHG economy.
"EU leadership in these areas would demonstrate to the world that clean energy transition is both possible and beneficial. They also underline that efforts to achieve climate neutrality may be spread unevenly across the EU, as member states have different starting points," the MEPs added.
While the Environment Committee resolution was adopted with 49 votes to six, with six abstentions, the text from the Industry Committee was adopted with 47 votes to four with six abstentions.
Both will be put to a vote by the full house during the March 11-14 plenary session in Strasbourg, the parliament said.
By Ebru Sengul