European Parliament, EU member states agree on target to cut carbon emissions

The EU target to cut carbon emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030 will be formally incorporated into a climate law.
The EU target to cut carbon emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030 will be formally incorporated into a climate law.PHOTO: AFP

BRUSSELS (AFP) - The European Parliament and European Union member states have agreed on a target to cut carbon emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030, the EU Commission said in a statement released on Wednesday (April 21).

The agreement comes after intense negotiations between the European Parliament, which wanted a reduction of at least 60 per cent, and leaders of the member states, who agreed on 55 per cent in November last year.

The EU target will be formally incorporated into a climate law, and comes after months of deadlocked talks that resumed early Tuesday afternoon and continued until after 3am.

"The European Climate Law enshrines the EU's commitment to reaching climate neutrality by 2050 and the intermediate target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels," read the statement.

Portuguese Environment Minister Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes - whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency - hailed the agreement as "a strong signal to the whole world" and the goal that was "now set in stone".

Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Pascal Canfin, who also chairs the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, wrote on Twitter that the European Parliament "was ready to go for more, but it's a good compromise: #EU will do 2.5 times more until 2030 as it has done in the last 10 years".

But non-government environmental groups and green MEPs disagreed, with German politician Michael Bloss writing on Twitter that the legislation "does not live up to its ambition".

He added: "This is not the #GreenDeal that we need to tackle the climate crisis and not enough for the Paris Agreement! But we will not stop fighting."

The agreement comes ahead of US President Joe Biden's climate summit this week, where Washington will unveil its own target.