EU Commission Sets the Bar for Climate Ambition in Plan to Cut Emissions at Least 55%

Statement from Jill Duggan, Executive Director, Environmental Defense Fund Europe

September 15, 2020
Raul Arce-Contreras, +1 (240) 480-1545,

(16 Sept. 2020) Environmental Defense Fund Europe welcomes the European Commission’s proposal today to increase its climate commitment and reduce the EU’s emissions at least 55% by 2030 relative to 1990 levels. This is the level necessary to put the EU on a path to climate neutrality by 2050. 

“Once again, Europe has set the bar for climate ambition by strengthening its commitment in the run up to COP26 in Glasgow, just as it did in advance of the Paris Agreement. We urge the EU to put forward the ‘at least 55%’ target as the new EU commitment under the Paris Agreement before the end of the year.

“A stronger commitment from the EU could leverage greater ambition from other countries in urgent need of raising their climate commitments. This is especially true in light of the approaching presidential election in the United States, the G20 where Italy is presiding and where greater ambition is most urgent, and for China, soon to be home to the world’s largest carbon market. We look forward to supporting the Commission and Member States in securing this ambitious goal.

“The last few months have been a challenge for so many and as we emerge from this crisis, we must do better. We must invest better. The EU Green Deal and today’s communication pay service to EU leadership on these issues and we look forward to working with the EU so it delivers in follow through on recovery spending and policy.

“In terms of how the new target is implemented, EDF welcomes calls for further infrastructure and policy to accelerate the production and uptake of alternative transportation fuels, in particular for aviation and maritime. It is crucial that the climate impact of these fuels be based on full life cycle accounting and enhanced sustainability criteria to ensure they deliver a real climate benefit. 

“We also welcome the clear recognition that the energy sector has massive potential for additional low cost reductions, and we urge the EU to implement policies focused on mitigation in the context of the gas market reform that deliver global methane emission reductions.

“Finally, we welcome the expansion of the EU Emissions Trading System and other market-based measures to achieve the at least 55% target. Of course, the EU ETS expansion and complementary measures must be thoughtfully designed to deliver sufficient ambition and to raise and direct revenue to where it is most needed. We look forward to digging into the detail.”

•    Jill Duggan, Executive Director of Environmental Defense Fund Europe

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