EU Commission pleads for 90% emission reduction by 2040

According to the plans presented on Tuesday, the European Commission wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union by 90% by 2040 compared to 1990 levels. “There’s no other way,” says Wopke Hoekstra, European Commissioner for Climate Action. “The longer the EU waits to take difficult measures, the harder and more expensive it will become.”

Of course, this new, ambitious interim goal requires more climate measures than are currently in place. And from now on, the transition to a climate-neutral Europe must be ‘in dialogue’.

The EU aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 and become climate neutral by 2050. There is currently no interim target for 2040. Still, according to the committee, interim goals are necessary to keep up the pressure and avoid concluding too late that the EU has not made enough progress.

At this point, the 90% by 2040 goal is not a legislative proposal from the commission but is instead seen as a first step toward setting a legal reduction target. If the EU member states embrace the proposal, the next European Commission will translate it into law.

Only option

For example, in 2040, the use of fossil fuels to generate energy will be 80 percent lower than it is today. Coal-fired power stations will no longer exist, and there will be 60 percent more electrically powered cars on the road than now. Also, agriculture will have to contribute and reduce emissions.

Last month, Germany and ten other EU countries called on the commission to set an ambitious climate target for 2040. A 90% to 95% reduction is the only option that corresponds to the recommendations of the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change and does not jeopardize the EU’s obligations under the Paris Agreement.

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