Europe calls for more ambitious climate policies ahead of COP26

(EurActiv, 31 May 2021) The world has made good progress on targets to reach net zero emissions, but now it must match those goals with policies, a senior EU official has said.

Europe and the United States have committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, and getting more countries on board at the November UN climate summit “would be a significant accomplishment,” said Jacob Werksman from the European Commission’s climate department.

“But those goals without the policies to achieve them aren’t worth a great deal in terms of what the atmosphere sees,” Werksman said at a EURACTIV event.

Despite new climate pledges by the US, EU and China, global emissions are still rising and the growing gap with the Paris climate goals needs to be filled quickly in order to prevent devastating global warming.

This year’s UN climate conference (COP26) will take place in Glasgow under UK chairmanship, with discussions expected to focus on enhancing international cooperation on carbon markets.

Policies will be needed to achieve countries’ targets to tackle climate change and that will be the real test of ambition, Werksman said, referring to an upcoming package of energy and climate laws that the European Commission will put forward in July.

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EurActiv, 31 May 2021: Europe calls for more ambitious climate policies ahead of COP26