(Montel) The EU is ready to commit to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 57% by 2030, the European Commission’s climate chief Frans Timmermans told the UN’s COP27 climate meeting on Tuesday.
The EC has its own legally binding target to lower its emissions by at least 55% from 1990 levels by 2030, which is its current promised contribution to the UN climate goal to limit global temperature warming to below 2C.
If the draft EU energy and climate legislation informally agreed so far is fully implemented, the EU would cut its emissions by at least 57% by 2030.
“So, I am happy to announce here today that the EU stands ready to update our [UN pledge], reflecting this higher ambition,” said Timmermans.
The progress on draft EU legislation includes an informal deal made last week on carbon sinks that requires the EU’s agricultural and forestry sectors to achieve net removals totalling 310m tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2030.
However, environmental campaign group CAN Europe said a boost in the EU target to 57% would still fall short of what is needed to reach the 2015 Paris Agreement’s ambition to limit the global temperature rise this century to 1.5C.
“The climate emergency we are in doesn't deserve breadcrumbing from the EU,” Chiara Martinelli, director at CAN Europe, said in a statement.
CAN Europe reckons a 65% reduction by 2030 is needed, an “equitable share that the EU should commit to globally limiting temperatures to the 1.5C threshold that keeps people safer on this planet” Martinelli said.
“This small increase announced today at COP27 doesn’t do justice to the calls from the most vulnerable countries at the frontlines. If the EU, with a heavy history of emitting greenhouse gases, doesn’t lead on mitigating climate change, who will?”