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The European Union is likely to propose the most ambitious option to cut emissions by 2030 as it ramps up efforts to clean up the bloc in its Green Deal.
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The European Commission will probably seek to accelerate pollution cuts to 55% compared with 1990 levels by the end of the next decade, according to two diplomats who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. The current target, approved in 2014, is to lower pollution by 40%.
The commission is exploring scenarios to increase ambition to between 50% and 55% in pollution cuts as part of the Green Deal to make Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent. A proposal, scheduled to be unveiled next month, will be based on a study that takes into account fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Commission has a policy of not commenting on draft legislation. Spokespeople weren’t immediately available for comment.
The 27 nation bloc’s green overhaul would affect every area, from energy production to transport, agriculture and the design of cities. A revised emissions target at the upper end of the range is expected by researchers and policy experts, who highlight the determination by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to strengthen Europe’s role as the leader in the global flight against climate change.
The current binding target for the bloc is a 20% of emissions by the end of this year.
“I do not think it is widely understood just how ambitious this is,” Peter Vis, a senior adviser at Rud Pedersen Public Affairs in Brussels, said on the revised 2030 target. “It means a whole range of new and ambitious policies to be put in place at record speed – as well as a very significant strengthening of the policies we have. It will require tough decisions in tough times.”
The plan to significantly step up emission reductions is likely to fan tensions among the bloc’s member states given the national differences in energy sources, wealth and industrial strength. To enter into force, it will need approval by EU nations and the European Parliament.
“The biggest challenges will be to get countries like Poland to embrace stricter climate targets and measures,” said Bas Eickhout, a Green member of the EU Parliament, who favors a 65% goal for 2030.
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