The EU has agreed a much-needed climate deal which lays down the Union’s commitments on climate and energy from now until 2030. This is a demonstration of its ability to agree on targets in a time of continued economic austerity and in the face of ongoing global challenges.
Many had feared that the leaders of the EU’s Member States would be unable to reach consensus and move forward with a binding outcome, so the fact a deal has been reached is encouraging.
Here is a breakdown of what has actually been agreed:
- A 40% reduction in carbon emissions (greenhouse gases) on 1990 levels by 2030
- A commitment to at least 27% renewable energy usage by 2030
- A commitment to increase energy efficiency by at least 27% by 2030
These targets are a step forward, but here at Progressio we remain realistic about what these targets will mean for climate change, and for the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
Put simply, they do not go far enough fast enough and they jeopardise future climate stability.
The EU has publically accepted that in order to avoid an increase in global temperatures beyond 2°C it needs to curb emissions by 80% by 2050.
The 40% target announced last night is weak by comparison and suggests that the needed cuts may be unlikely to happen. The EU is not leading the battle against climate change, even though it claims otherwise.
These targets may dramatically slow down the EU’s prior progress on climate change, and curb some of the needed momentum that the EU had managed to build.
And the targets have been weakened by internal EU politics. This is disappointing; more needs to be done to ensure that the needs of the planet and its people are seen as more important than political gains.
That being said, the fact that the EU has announced the deal and shown the ability to act as a cohesive unit will put pressure on China and the United States in the run up to the instrumental Paris climate talks next year. World leaders will be called upon to put their own politics aside and act in the interest of the world as a whole.
Progressio continues to push for strong, binding targets on climate change, at a national, EU and global level.
Image: James Boyle presents a campaign petition to Number 10. Credit: The Climate Coalition. Jenny is the Activism Officer at Progressio