Stricter 2030 Climate Goal For EU To Be Unveiled Next Week

The European Commission will likely unveil a stricter 2030 emissions-cut target next week, paving the way for fraught negotiations between governments and lawmakers over accelerating a green shift that will require sweeping overhauls in the functioning of the continent’s economy.

The European Union is considering tightening its carbon-reduction objective for the next decade to 50%-55%, with the upper end of the range set to become the new goal. Stepping up the pace of lowering discharges from the current binding target of 40% compared to 1990 levels will demand hundreds of billions euros in investment over the next decade.

The president of the EU’s executive arm, Ursula von der Leyen will announce the more ambitious target in a key policy speech. The Commission will probably discuss the goal at meeting on Sept. 15, before adopting it in a written procedure a day later, according to an EU official, who asked not to be identified.

The planned proposal is part of the European Green Deal, a comprehensive set of measures aimed at turning Europe into the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The commission also wants the environmental clean-up, which will affect everything from energy production to transport and agriculture, to become the engine of the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Stricter 2030 Climate Goal For EU To Be Unveiled Next Week

The new 2030 target will be added as an amendment to an already proposed law to make the mid-century goal of climate-neutrality binding. To enter into force, it will need approval by the European Parliament and national governments, with lawmakers eyeing to iron out a deal about the final shape of the climate law by the end of this year.

The negotiations are set to be difficult given the differences among member states in energy sources, wealth and industrial strength. The plan is already fanning concerns from the industry, with many sectors warning policy makers about the risk of losing competitiveness against rivals in other nations, with laxer climate policies.

A goal of 55% is set to boost the price of permits in the EU Emissions Trading System, the world’s biggest carbon market that covers more than 40% of the region’s pollution. Those allowances are already near record highs, trading at around 27 euros compared with some 7 euros three years ago.

EU policy makers are determined, however, to move fast.

“The cost of climate action may seem high, but it is dwarfed by the cost of inaction,” Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans said last week. “It makes sense to avoid that bill and improve our lives in the meantime. We can do both.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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