Germany has thrown its weight behind an EU-wide target to cut net carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2050, according to a leaked document seen by the Financial Times. Berlin’s backing increases the likelihood that national leaders will agree to an EU-wide 2050 goal at a gathering in Brussels next week. A lack of German support had been a sticking point for the adoption of tougher EU emissions target which eight member states – Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden – committed to in May. There were signs that Chancellor Angela Merkel was preparing to shift her position after she endorsed a German carbon neutral target last month. An EU-wide agreement would give the bloc a concrete commitment to take to the UN climate conference in September, strengthening its claim to be a climate leader and increasing pressure on China and other countries to do more. It also underlines how the need to reduce emissions to combat climate change has moved up the political agenda. The US decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord – which aims to limit warming to well below 2C – has increased the pressure on the EU to lead global efforts. This month the UK became the first major economy to legislate for a net zero emissions 2050 target, with France expected to follow suit this year.
FT 16th June 2019 read more »