BRUSSELS: The European Parliament and EU member states agreed on Wednesday a target to cut carbon emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030, in what was called a “game changer” just ahead of a US-hosted climate summit.
The deal, reached before dawn after 14 hours of negotiations, sets about putting parts of the 2016 Paris climate accord into binding legislative effect across a range of sectors, underpinning the European Union’s ambition to lead the world on the issue.
The EU vice president responsible for the bloc’s Green Deal, Franz Timmermans, called the agreement “a landmark moment for the EU and a strong signal to the world” alongside a 5:00 am tweeted picture showing the moment it was struck.
But top environmental groups Greenpeace and WWF immediately slammed the agreement as insufficient to limit global warming to the 1.5-degree-Celsius threshold enshrined in the Paris accord.
Greenpeace noted that Britain, a former EU member, vowed this week to slash carbon emissions by 78 percent by 2035. The EU climate law agreement ended a deadlock between member states, which insisted on the 55-percent goal agreed in November.
The EU announcement and the wider debate will feed into a virtual climate summit hosted Thursday and Friday by US President Joe Biden, who has made climate a top priority. He is expected to unveil ambitious new US targets on reducing carbon emissions.