Von der Leyen’s first and foremost climate task

Climate action

Speaking at the European Parliament on the occasion of the approval of her Commission, the new Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen reiterated that the fight against climate change will be one of her main policy priorities. 

To fulfil her promise and deliver on the objectives of the Paris Agreement, von der Leyen needs to propose a significant increase of the EU 2030 climate target within the first 100 days in office.

In the Paris Agreement, all countries committed to submit new increased 2030 climate targets to the UN by 2020. The EU should adopt a new, substantially higher target already in the first half of 2020, to be able to play a leadership role and encourage other big emitters to follow suit.

For this to happen, the European Commission needs to publish a proposal to increase the target within its first 100 days in office. It needs to include a target of 55% emission cuts, and also a higher target of at least 65%, which would bring the EU more in line with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement.

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

“The Commission’s ability to propose a much higher target during the first 100 days will be a key benchmark to gauge their early success. It will prove that von der Leyen means business when she says that climate change is her utmost priority. On the other hand, delaying the proposal could put the EU in the back seat of global climate negotiations and undermine its role in shaping the discussions on the increase of the targets next year. It would be a blow to millions of Europeans that take to the streets demanding immediate action to tackle the climate crisis.”



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.



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