UN Climate Summit: opportunity to talk about new EU 2030 climate target

Climate action| Global transition

Global leaders will descend on New York next Monday, 23 September for the much-anticipated UN Secretary General Climate Action Summit. The Summit is a chance for governments to answer the youth’s call for more action to tackle the climate emergency. They must do so by committing to enhance their inadequate 2030 climate targets.

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called upon all world leaders to come to the Summit with plans to increase the 2030 climate targets, so that they allow to keep temperature rise to 1.5°C. Governments have little time left to deliver new, higher targets, as in the Paris Agreement they committed to do so by 2020.

Momentum for increasing the EU’s 2030 climate target is growing. The European Parliament, the European Commission President-elect, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and an increasing number of EU governments, including the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Slovenia and the Nordic countries have recently called for raising the target to 55% emissions cuts compared to 1990 levels.

It is essential for the success of the UN Summit that all EU leaders clearly state their commitment to significantly increase the EU’s 2030 climate target. To be in line with the 1.5°C goal, the target needs to be raised to at least 65%. The process should be finalised in the first quarter of 2020, as this would create the momentum for other countries to follow suit. 

To help developing countries increase their climate targets and cope with the climate crisis, it is critical that European countries scale up their climate finance. At the UN Summit, they should announce new pledges to at least double their contributions to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). This would help fulfill their promises to mobilise $100 billion annually.

The IPCC special report on oceans and climate change, to be released on 25 September, will likely show that much deeper emission cuts are needed to avoid massive damage caused by climate-related superstorms, rising seas, melting glaciers and permafrost.

Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said:

“Against the backdrop of rising public anger and a devastating increase of extreme weather events, leaders across Europe are finally starting to grasp their responsibility for tackling the climate crisis. More and more European governments support slashing emissions at a much faster pace. The UN Summit is an opportunity for European leaders to take a leadership role and encourage others to follow, by committing to increase the EU’s 2030 climate target significantly and without delay. Now it is time for governments to listen to the people on the streets and step up.”

Over a week from 20 to 27 September, millions of people around the world led by the youth will come out on to the streets urging our leaders to scale up climate action immediately. Here is what’s happening:


Ania Drazkiewicz, CAN Europe Head of Communications, ania@caneurope.org, +32 494 525 738

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.