European Union leaders reaffirmed their commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050 at a summit Thursday in Brussels but failed to unanimously agree on its implementation due to Poland’s concerns.
European heads of state and government decided to come back to the topic at a summit in June 2020.
European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stressed the EU’s commitment to the roadmap outlined in the European Union’s Green Deal policy package on the transition to carbon neutrality at a press conference after the first day of discussions.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “quite satisfied” with the results, which she described as “all in all great progress” but admitted they had “intense discussions”.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also welcomed a solution that gives Poland “enormous flexibility” after he secured an exemption from 2050 climate neutrality.
His Czech counterpart, Andrej Babis, also reached his goal as the conclusions of the meeting mentioned nuclear energy as part of some member states’ energy mixes.
Carbon neutrality, or having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions by balancing carbon emissions with carbon removal or simply eliminating carbon emissions altogether.
The leaders meanwhile postponed negotiations on the EU’s budget for the 2021-2027 period. Michel will continue to hold bilateral talks with governments on the multiannual financial framework.
The European Council also stated in its conclusions that the Turkey-Libya Maritime Border Deal “cannot produce any legal consequences for third states” and unequivocally reaffirmed its solidarity with Greece and Cyprus.
By Agnes Szucs in Brussels