U.N. chief presses EU to set tougher climate change target

(Reuters, 19 Nov 2020) The new climate change target would put the bloc on track to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

* Guterres calls for 55% EU emissions cut this decade

* EU leaders aim to agree new climate goal in Dec.

* U.N. urges bloc to stop funding fossil fuels

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday urged the European Union to lead global efforts to slash planet-warming emissions by setting a new climate change target next month.

Efforts to curb climate change have gathered pace in recent months, as China, Japan and South Korea joined the EU in pledging to eventually become carbon neutral - a commitment President-elect Joe Biden says the United States will also make.

Europe looks likely to be the first large economy to translate its net zero goal into near-term commitments. The bloc's 27 member countries aim to strike a deal next month on a new 2030 climate target.

"I urge you to continue to lead with concrete and ambitious near-term commitments," Guterres told the European Council on Foreign Relations by videoconference on Thursday. "It is essential that the European Union commits to reducing emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030."

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Reuters, 19 Nov 2020: U.N. chief presses EU to set tougher climate change target