A plan to slash EU carbon emissions to “net zero” within 30 years will be debated at a meeting of leaders that begins in Brussels on Thursday, as the bloc considers joining a growing number of nations poised to adopt tough climate goals and radically reduce greenhouse gases within a generation. The UK this month became the first G20 economy to legislate for a net zero 2050 target, with France set to follow suit and Germany and New Zealand considering similar proposals. Growing concern over record global emissions, as well as increased public pressure, have helped convince the UK and others to step up efforts to cut emissions with the aim of helping the planet avoid the worst effects of global warming. Yet a counter trend also casts doubt on whether they will achieve these lofty ambitions: many of those looking to adopt 30-year climate goals are already well off track in meeting existing emissions targets in the near term. “It is very easy for a politician to say, ‘we need net zero 2050’, when they definitely know they are not going to be in charge at that time,” said Neil Makaroff of Réseau Action Climat, a French environmental group. “Short-term actions to reduce emissions are not really there at the moment.” Global emissions hit a record high last year, and countries including the UK and Germany are set to miss their carbon budgets in coming years, while others, such as France, have repeatedly missed targets in recent years. Campaigners warn that the 2050 target, while broadly positive, risk being meaningless without stronger policies that spell out how carbon emissions will be reduced in the near term – policies that are often much harder to agree on.
FT 19th June 2019 read more »
Draft climate plans drawn up by EU Member States are not ambitious enough to deliver on the bloc’s 2030 climate targets, according to an official assessment by the European Commission which yesterday urged countries to step up efforts to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement. Member states must provide “more concrete additional policies and measures” to bring their decarbonisation plans up to scratch, the Commission said, arguing initial draft plans are largely falling short on measures to improve energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment.
Business Green 19th June 2019 read more »