Behind-the-curtain of the EU’s 2050 climate plan

(EurActiv, 8 Oct 2018) The European Commission’s long-term climate plan could be hamstrung by a semantic dispute over vague figures and a fear of failure left over from previous ill-fated attempts at ambitious climate action, EURACTIV has learned.

Commission bigwigs like President Jean-Claude Juncker and climate chief Miguel Arias Cañete both support a net-zero emissions 2050 strategy but sources have revealed that there are factions within the EU executive that are pushing for a more business-as-usual tack.

As part of the EU’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, the Commission was asked by member states in March 2018 to come up with a plan to drag Europe’s economy onto a Paris Agreement-compliant trajectory.

Commission experts are currently crunching the numbers on a number of scenarios for 2050 that fall into three main groups: 80% emissions cuts, 90% cuts and net-zero emissions. All will have to ensure compliance with at least the 2 degrees Celsius Paris goal.

Although there is political support for the net-zero pathway, how the options are presented by the Commission, especially the financial impact of each scenario, will weigh heavily on what choice is made.

This is not the first time that the EU executive has worked on a 2050 plan and its previous version, dating back to 2011, suggests 40% cuts by 2030, 60% in 2040 and 80% in 2050.

But EU Council conclusions on that roadmap were never adopted because Poland vetoed it in 2011 and again in 2012.

External link

EurActiv, 8 Oct 2018: Behind-the-curtain of the EU’s 2050 climate plan