European stakeholders call upon the new Commission to make 2030 climate target a priority

Climate action

Today, the Coalition for Higher Ambition, a unique gathering of businesses, investor groups, trade unions, local and regional authorities, and NGOs published a statement to urge the Commission to come forward with a proposal to increase the EU’s climate target to at least -55% of GHG emissions reductions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels within the first 100 days of their mandate. It is the first time that this broad group of stakeholders take a joint position on the EU’s 2030 target and its revision timeline.

Letter from the Coalition for Higher Ambition can be downloaded here

The statement comes ahead of the European Commission’s announcement on the European Green Deal, with its key element of the enhancement of the EU’s 2030 climate target. The new Commission president, Ursula Von der Leyen is expected to present a comprehensive programme of the European Green Deal on 11 December. 

The draft concept of the European Green Deal leaked to the media shows that the European Commission plans to propose an increase of the EU 2030 climate target only in October 2020. In the letter addressed to the new Commissioners, the Coalition members underline that October 2020 would simply be too late to agree on a higher pledge. They also state that the EU must follow the Paris Agreement deadline which requires all countries to increase their 2030 climate pledges by 2020 to keep  its position as climate leader. 

Wendel Trio, director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said: “We expect the European Commission to understand the importance of the COP 26 deadline to substantially increase the EU’s climate pledge. Missing the Paris Agreement deadline would undermine what the EU has done for the Paris Agreement until now. It will also be a big failure to address the rising call from European businesses, investors and cities to tackle the climate emergency.”

Eliot Whittington, Director, the European Corporate Leaders Group (CLG Europe): “Delivering higher ambition on 2030 next year is both essential to remain within the parameters of a 1.5C-increase world, and also will be good for the economy in the long-term. Business leaders from CLG Europe are urging the EU to increase its interim target, indicating they are ready and keen to accelerate the transition to a net zero economy and all the opportunities it can bring. By adopting an increased target of at least 55% and reflecting it through the new policies of the European Green Deal, innovation and investment can be unlocked to deliver the action needed for these next crucial 10 years.”

Ludovic Voet, Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation : “Raising EU’s climate ambitions is fundamental if we want to tackle climate change. To achieve its targets, the EU will need strong public support and the best way to get it is by ensuring a just transition. This just transition should involve workers and local communities in the development of concrete policy measures that support the most affected regions, that ensure social protection and training programmes and that set long term industrial plans to create quality jobs.”  

Philippe Dumas, Secretary General, European Geothermal Energy Council: “We need immediately to put the European economy on track for decarbonisation right away. We must rapidly increase the trend for the transition in the energy sector and especially for heating and cooling (which is half of the energy we use) with already competitive renewable heating and cooling (RES-HC) solutions such as geothermal energy, by ending fossil fuel subsidies and establishing carbon pricing for heat market.”  

Franz Untersteller, Minister of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector Baden-Württemberg, European Co-Chair of the Under2 Coalition: “COP26 has to be the trigger for ambitious climate action in the whole world. The European Union needs to come forward with an adequate contribution by increasing its targets in time. States and regions all over Europe are ready to support the European institutions with concrete policy measures. The 42 European regions of the Under2 Coalition represent 179 million inhabitants and 36% of the EU economy, making it a significant stakeholder for change.”


Goksen Sahin, CAN Europe Communications Coordinator,, +32 468 45 39 20

Thomas Garabetian, EGEC, Policy Advisor,, +32 23 18 40 62

Pascale Palmer, Senior Media Advisor, University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, Mob: +44 7432 533 080, Direct: +44 1223 765422

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 40 million citizens, CAN Europe promotes sustainable climate, energy and development policies throughout Europe.


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