10 EU countries call for raising the bar of the EU’s long term climate plan

Climate action

In a letter to the European Commission sent last week, environment ministers representing 10 EU Member States have called upon the EU’s executive to clearly support a target of reducing emissions to net zero by 2050 and propose a higher 2030 target in the draft long-term climate strategy to be published on 28 November.

Ministers of Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden, who have signed the letter, encourage the European Commission to “set a clear direction towards net zero GHG emissions in the EU by 2050” and “take into consideration the consistency of the current European GHG emissions reduction target of at least 40% in 2030 with the trajectories for the different long-term scenarios considered”, which means adjusting the short-term 2030 target to the new, more ambitious long-term trajectory.

In a draft strategy that was leaked by the media in October, the European Commission proposed three options for the EU’s long-term target: 80% emission reductions by 2050, reaching net zero emissions by 2070 and reaching net zero emissions by 2050, but it failed to give preference to the latter as the best choice. It has also disregarded the need to propose a higher 2030 target.

This is in stark contradiction with the recent IPCC report, which clearly showed that in order to have a good chance of keeping temperature rise to 1.5°C,  the EU would need to substantially increase climate action. CAN Europe calls upon the EU to reduce emissions to net zero by 2040 and by 2030 go well above the 55% reduction some Member States and the European Parliament are calling for.

In reaction to the letter, Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said:

“The letter will raise pressure on the Commission to clearly recommend the target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, over the other two, woefully inadequate options. The IPCC scientists made it crystal clear that we need to make every effort to stay below 1.5°C, and for the EU this means a significant increase of its long-term and 2030 targets. We call upon the Ministers who signed the letter to be clear and unequivocal that they want the EU to increase its targets well beyond what has been agreed already at the upcoming climate summit COP24.”



Ania Drazkiewicz, CAN Europe Head of Communications, ania@caneurope.org, +32 494 525 738


[1] The letter has been leaked and published here: https://www.euractiv.com/section/climate-environment/news/10-countries-demand-net-zero-emission-goal-in-new-eu-climate-strategy/

[2] CAN Europe position on Europe’s long term targets: https://caneurope.org/publications/can-europe-positions/1656-can-europe-position-on-long-term-targets

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s leading NGO coalition fighting dangerous climate change. With over 150 member organisations from 35 European countries, representing over 1.700 NGOs and more than 40 million citizens, CAN Europe promotes sustainable climate, energy and development policies throughout Europe.


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