EU climate neutrality by 2050 is not Paris-compatible

(EurActiv, 5 Feb 2021) The EU’s aim for net zero by 2050 is insufficient to meet the Paris Agreement and limit warming to 1.5°C. To avoid climate catastrophe, Europe needs to rethink auctions for renewable energy and reintroducing support for small scale supply, argue Hans-Josef Fell and Dr Thure Traber.

Hans-Josef Fell is a former member of the German Bundestag (1998-2013) and currently President of the Energy Watch Group (EWG), an energy think tank based in Berlin. Dr Thure Traber is the EWG’s Chief Researcher.

The Paris Climate Agreement was adopted on 12 December 2015. In it, the signatory states pledged to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C, if possible.

Five years later, climate change has turned into a climate crisis, and despite increasing protests for more climate protection, politics remains far behind the necessities of adequate climate policy.

Climate neutrality (net zero) by 2050 is the current EU climate policy mantra and it comes with the claim that this plan is sufficient to meet the Paris targets. Unfortunately, on closer inspection, not much remains of this assumption, casting doubts on the adequacy of European climate policy as a whole

It does not sound far away, however, reaching climate neutrality in 30 years will prove to be largely insufficient to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The scientific evidence for that is overwhelming, as shown by the Energy Watch Group’s recent policy paper.

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EurActiv, 5 Feb 2021: EU climate neutrality by 2050 is not Paris-compatible