EU leaders meeting in Brussels today failed to agree to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050 and to commit to revising the EU’s 2030 climate target, due to a veto from the Polish, Czech, Estonian and Hungarian governments.
On 17 and 18 June, four new EU countries, namely Bulgaria, Hungary, Ireland and Slovakia announced their support for the net zero emissions by 2050 goal, increasing the total number of EU countries in favour to 22. With three new CEE countries on board, the EU is much closer to reaching an agreement on this at this week’s European Council.
Today the European Commission has published its recommendations for improving the draft National Energy and Climate Plans wherein EU Member States have to draw concrete pathways to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and boost energy savings as well as renewable energy all the way until 2030. Member States have until the end of this year to come up with better deals for the climate.
Brussels, 17th June 2019, for immediate release
Feeling the pressure from the public, and in particular from young people, EU governments are getting closer to reaching an agreement on achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and on raising the EU’s 2030 climate target . With only a few Central European governments still on the fence , the decision can be made already at the upcoming EU Heads of State and Government meeting in Brussels on 20-21 June.
Today, a new report by Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe and Sandbag reveals Member States are receiving EU energy transition support but not committing to phase-out coal. The draft National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) of 21 EU Member States which still use coal for electricity generation show that only eight are committed to phasing out coal by 2030. Yet, Member States with no plans to move away from coal are benefiting from various EU schemes intended to support the energy transition away from coal. Still, Member States are asking for more energy transition funding, - finds a new report entitled pdf “Just transition or just talk?” (3.20 MB)
As a result of the European elections concluded yesterday, the two traditional major parties of the social democrats and conservatives will no longer have a majority in the European Parliament. However, given the large support from voters for parties that have put climate action forward as a priority, there is a large majority of parties that now need to put climate action first and work together to tackle the climate emergency.
Thanks to hundreds of thousands of young people protesting across European cities over the last months against the lack of adequate action to confront the climate emergency, climate change for the first time tops the agenda of the European election campaign. This has put pressure on more conservative politicians to finally acknowledge the need for climate action in their election campaigns.
The European General Court dismissed the People’s Climate Case on procedural grounds stating that the families and youth impacted by climate change do not have a right to go to court to challenge the EU’s 2030 climate target. However, in its decision, the Court recognised that climate change affects all Europeans in many different ways. Families and the Saami youth who initiated the case plan to appeal to the European Court of Justice.
As the Future of Europe summit in Sibiu, Romania, comes to an end, it is clear that EU leaders failed to respond to the growing public unrest and commit to make climate change the EU’s top priority. This is despite the momentum created by statements from eight EU Member States and a broad coalition of European stakeholders determined to push for more decisive climate action.
In 2018, carbon emissions across the EU decreased by 2.5% compared to the year before, according to the preliminary data published by Eurostat today.