EU countries dig in heels over 55% climate target for 2030

(EurActiv, 19 Mar 2021) Environment ministers from the 27 EU member states confirmed they would continue to push for a 55% net greenhouse gas reduction target by 2030 during a meeting of the environment council on Thursday (18 March), despite calls from Parliament to increase the EU’s ambition.

Negotiations are currently ongoing over the European climate law, which aims to enshrine the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality target into hard legislation.

The biggest hurdle standing in the way of a deal is the 2030 target, with the European Parliament voting last year in favour of a 60% reduction in emissions, up from the Council’s 55% target.

But this is a no-go for EU member states, which painfully agreed in December on the 2030 target after all-night session of excruciating talks.

“We know what the Council mandate is. That is the mandate that we will work with,” said João Pedro Matos Fernandes, the Portuguese minister for energy and environment who chaired the informal video conference of EU environment ministers.

“The Presidency will continue to defend the Council’s position on the politically most sensitive issues, namely the climate neutrality objective and the 2030 target in accordance with the strong mandate that we received and based on the valid arguments in support of that position,” he added.

The negotiations have been “very intense” and there has been some progress, including provisional agreements on several areas where there was already convergence, said Fernandes.

External link

EurActiv, 19 Mar 2021: EU countries dig in heels over 55% climate target for 2030