EU leaders pass on upping bloc’s 2030 climate target

Published 13:41 on March 18, 2016  /  Last updated at 13:41 on March 18, 2016  /  EMEA, EU ETS  /  No Comments

EU leaders have declined to revise the bloc’s 2030 climate and energy goals in the light of the Paris Agreement at this week’s Council summit, instead urging lawmakers to speed laws to ensure the bloc's existing goals are met.

EU leaders have declined to revise the bloc’s 2030 climate and energy goals in the light of the Paris Agreement at this week’s Council summit, instead urging lawmakers to speed laws to ensure the bloc’s existing goals are met.

After initial doubts over whether climate and energy issues would be discussed at all at the summit, the 28 leaders agreed some basic points as part of the two-day session, which was dominated by migration issues.

According to a Council statement released late Thursday, the leaders agreed text to “ratify the Paris Agreement as soon as possible”, while confirming that the EU is committed to its already-agreed 2030 target to cut emissions by at least 40% under 1990 levels.

“Adapting the legislation in order to implement this framework remains a priority,” it added.

Read Carbon Pulse’s analysis on why EU leaders had been unlikely to budge on the 2030 goal

The full text on the Council’s conclusions on climate and energy:

The European Council welcomes the submission by the Commission of the package on energy security as well as of the Communication “Road from Paris”. It encourages the legislators to proceed with work on the proposals to reinforce the EU energy security as a matter of priority on the basis of its previous conclusions and the relevant strategies endorsed by the European Council. It also recalled the importance of a fully-functioning and interconnected energy market. Based on the Climate Communication, it underlines the EU’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions domestically and to increase the share of renewable energies and improve energy efficiency as agreed by the European Council in October 2014. Adapting the legislation in order to implement this framework remains a priority. The European Council invites the Commission to rapidly present all the remaining relevant proposals to this end so as to swiftly engage the legislative process. The European Council looks forward to the signature of the Paris Agreement in New York on 22 April and underlines the need for the European Union and its Member States to be able to ratify the Paris Agreement as soon as possible and on time so as to be Parties as of its entry into force.

FACTFILE

  • Environment ministers from Germany and several other EU states have called for the bloc to deepen the EU’s 2030 goals in response to the Paris Agreement, but plenty of their counterparts said the current targets were adequate.
  • Commission officials have been briefing lawmakers that the EU’s 2030 GHG target could not easily be altered to fit deeper global aspirations, despite being aware that its proposed reforms to the EU ETS won’t keep pace with current UN obligations regarding worldwide temperature limits.
  • A deeper overall EU target would drastically lower the emissions cap of the ETS, which regulates just under half of the bloc’s greenhouse gas output.

By Ben Garside – ben@carbon-pulse.com

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