EU countries under pressure to fast-track agreement on Green Deal hallmark ahead of COP 26

Climate action

Today, the European Commission has presented an outline of its European Green Deal. According to the proposed timeline, the EU’s increased 2030 climate target – the flagship initiative of the package – will be presented by summer 2020. This timeline will require Member States to agree on a much higher 2030 target at the European Council in June 2020, which will be key to enable the EU to lead the way towards bold climate ambition internationally. 

In the Paris Agreement, all countries committed to submit new increased 2030 climate targets to the United Nations, at the latest by the climate summit, COP26, taking place in Glasgow in November 2020. 

Today’s communication shows that the Commission intends to come forward with a new target proposal by summer 2020, instead of during its first 100 days in office as initially promised. 

Tabling a new, substantially increased 2030 climate target by summer 2020 would leave very little time for EU Member States to negotiate and endorse it in time. Therefore, during tomorrow’s European Council, all Member States should give clear indications to the Commission that a proposal needs to be presented as early as possible and that increasing the EU’s ambition for 2030 will be discussed at every European Council to come. 

Any delay would cost the EU its international leadership position on climate diplomacy as the bloc would not be able to present an agreed, much higher 2030 climate target ahead of the EU-China Summit taking place in Leipzig in September 2020. 

Given the climate emergency and its capacity and responsibility to act, the EU must increase its 2030 climate target to 65% emission reductions and agree to go net zero emissions by 2040. 

In reaction to the European Green Deal communication, Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said:
“Timing is everything. The current proposal to have a new, increased EU 2030 climate target by summer 2020 is definitely better than the leaked draft referring to October 2020. Now, EU Member States have a big responsibility to agree on a much higher 2030 climate target at the European Council in June 2020. It would be the only way to be prepared for the EU-China Summit in September where a successful outcome on enhanced climate action would be crucial to build up international momentum ahead of the UN Climate Conference, COP 26, in November next year in Glasgow.”



Nicolas Derobert, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator,, +32 483 62 18 88


Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s leading NGO coalition fighting dangerous climate change. With over 160 member organisations from 35 European countries, representing over 1.700 NGOs and more than 47 million citizens, CAN Europe promotes sustainable climate, energy and development policies throughout Europe.


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