EU leaders recognise the need to strengthen climate targets by 2020

Climate action

In response to the landmark IPCC report on global warming of 1.5°C published last week, 28 EU Heads of State and Government have called upon all countries of the world to commit, at the upcoming COP24 climate summit in Poland, to review the levels of ambition of their Paris Agreement pledges by 2020.

The EU now needs to translate this statement into an action plan on how and when its Member States will agree on a new 2030 target, in line with the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement.

In reaction to the Heads of State and Government’s decision, Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said:

“The IPCC scientists gave our leaders a to-do list for avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. Today’s statement from the EU ticks the first box on this list, as it acknowledges that we need to urgently revisit our weak climate pledges. It is now time for EU leaders to act and agree to massively increase emission cuts within the bloc, to galvanize other countries to do the same. To stay below 1.5°C, the EU will need to significantly increase its 2030 target, even beyond the 55% reduction some Member States are calling for, and ensure it achieves net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.”

The EU will have a critical opportunity to commit to a much higher climate target at the all-important COP24 summit in Katowice this year. The process of revising the 2030 target should be finalized by EU Heads of State and Government before the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ Global Climate Summit set to take place in September 2019 in New York and aimed to review the Paris Agreement commitments.



Ania Drazkiewicz, CAN Europe Head of Communications,, +32 494 525 738


[1] European Council conclusions:

[2] CAN Europe’s reaction to the IPCC report, outlining what it means for the EU: 

[3] CAN Europe position on Europe’s 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.