Environment committee puts the European Parliament one step closer to the Paris Agreement goal

Climate action

The members of the Environment committee of the European Parliament have set their position on the European Climate Law. By endorsing a 2030 climate target for the EU of 60% emission reductions, up from the current 40%, they made a key step closer to what is needed to achieve the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement even though science requires at least 65% cuts.

“The Environment Committee position on the climate target must serve as a wake-up call to the whole Parliament and beyond, to all EU bodies. Science is clear that the next decade is key to protect citizens from devastating climate change. There is no other option but to aim at emissions reduction targets in line with the latest available science. Though still too low to comply with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement which would require 65% emission cuts by 2030 in the EU, a 60% target clearly represents a step forward and punts the ball to the European Commission which is expected to publish their 2030 climate target proposal in September”, reacted Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe.

In April, the Member of the European Parliament in charge of leading the development of the Parliament’s position on the EU climate law, Jytte Guteland from the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), had tabled a 65% emission cut target for 2030, rightly arguing that “it is important in these times to submit proposals that are in line with what scientists said it is necessary”.

65% is in line with the latest available science as well as the equity principles enshrined in the Paris Agreement. Last year, the United Nations’ Emissions Gap Report evidenced that at the global level annual emission reductions of 7.6% between now and 2030 will be needed to reach the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement. Applying this reduction pace would require the EU to increase its 2030 target to at least 65%. And there is no justifiable reason for this not to apply to the EU.

The EU needs to adopt a new 2030 climate target before the end of the year, a major deliverable for Heads of State and Government to discuss and agree at the upcoming European Council meetings. An ambitious target is also key to relaunch European economies and ensure the EU budget and recovery funds will catalyse the swift transition to climate-neutral economies in the short term.

Nevertheless, this new stance of the Parliament represents great progress compared to the current, dramatically low EU climate target of at least 40%, and to the 50-55% target range currently assessed by the European Commission.

Trio added: “We call on the European Parliament in plenary to at least back the agreed target of 60% and preferably go for a 65% emission reduction target for 2030 to be in line with the Paris Agreement and the latest available science. This would send the right signal to Member States as they will discuss the 2030 target in the October European Council.”


Nicolas Derobert, Head of communications, nicolas@caneurope.org, +32 483 62 18 88

Note to editors:

The final report still has to be adopted in tomorrow’s vote, which is likely to happen.

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s leading NGO coalition fighting dangerous climate change. With over 170 member organisations active in 38 European countries, representing over 1.500 NGOs and more than 47million citizens, CAN Europe promotes sustainable climate, energy and development policies throughout Europe.