Today the President of the European Commission proposed to significantly increase the EU's climate target for 2030. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze, representing the German Council Presidency, said:
Dear European citizens,
There is a clear vision for the future of our continent: Europe aims to be climate-neutral by 2050: how we live and build, how we move from place to place, what we eat and produce will no longer generate more greenhouse gases than our environment can absorb. This is how we plan to avert the climate crisis. With this goal in mind, Europe can now confidently take the next big step. Today the Commission proposed a new climate target for the European Union for 2030.
The current EU climate target dates back to 2014: It set a 40-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. We are all aware this is not enough.
We Europeans know that we can do more. We have proven this in the last six years:
- With the Paris Agreement, we created international law that commits the entire world to climate change mitigation.
- More and more energy in Europe is generated from wind and the sun. The costs have fallen steadily and the technology is constantly improving. This new, sustainable energy really works.
- Europe is moving away from coal, and more and more countries are taking an active and socially responsible approach to phasing out coal.
- Electromobility is about to experience a boom, with more and more charging points and electric buses. And, new cycle lanes are being built and more people are riding bikes.
- Europe is working extremely hard to develop climate-friendly solutions with green hydrogen for those sectors of the economy that have lacked solutions to date: for shipping and aviation, for the steel and chemical industries.
All these developments make Europe an important location for the technologies of tomorrow, which is exactly what we need to ensure our future prosperity. In addition, European awareness of climate change issues has grown enormously, and there is considerable public support. These developments are also the reason I say: yes, we can now be more ambitious when it comes to tackling climate change. The next step we take can be big.
The Commission has very good arguments for a new target of 55 percent. It is now up to the member states to take a position on this proposal. I have invited the European climate and environment ministers to Berlin to discuss the Commission's proposal at the end of this month. I hope that we can find common ground at this meeting. During the German EU Council Presidency, one of our main goals is to maximise our progress in climate action."