The 200+ CAN Europe membership supports the Paris Agreement’s call to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C as the only acceptable threshold to avert even more dangerous climate change, based on the social and economic opportunities of the zero-carbon transition and the growing evidence of extreme impacts of climate change. Currently, global temperature increase is moving dangerously close to the 1.5°C threshold. With warming already of 1.2°C, action and ambition of the EU remain insufficient. The EU Climate Law requires the European Commission to present by May 2024 a proposal for a 2040 climate target and an indicative greenhouse gas emission budget for the period 2030-2050. Furthermore, at COP26 in Glasgow the EU committed to present, at the latest by 2025, a new climate target (NDC – Nationally Determined Contribution) for 2035. This is why CAN Europe is updating its position on EU climate ambition, as set out in this paper.
Based on the most recent science available and equity principles of historical responsibility and capacity to act that underpin the Paris Agreement, the European Union needs to act in accordance with its equitable share of any remaining greenhouse gas budget. In light of the EU’s role as a major historic emitter and a wealthy region, implementing steep domestic net emission reductions alone will not be sufficient to achieve this; additional support for mitigation to countries in the Global South, in the form of climate finance and other means of implementation needs to be provided.
To align with the Paris Agreement 1.5°C, the EU should reduce its domestic greenhouse gas emissions by at least -65% gross reductions compared to 1990 levels by 2030 and increase net removals in the LULUCF sector to at least -600 MtCO2e by the same date and maintain them at least at this level thereafter (therefore achieving at least -76% net emission reductions by 2030). The EU should reach net zero by 2040 at the latest based on at least -92% gross emission reductions. Furthermore, the EU should commit to adopt 5-year policy cycles and establish a 2035 climate target and NDC of between at least -78-82% gross (between at least -90-94% net) emission reductions relative to 1990. The EU should establish separate targets for a) greenhouse gas emission reductions b) net sequestration in the LULUCF sector, c) industrial removals, and vastly increase its international climate finance and support for cooperation measures. Ensuring nature protection and a just transition is key in the implementation of these climate targets.