EU agrees deal for 55% emissions cut by 2030

Lawmakers reached an agreement on the bloc’s climate law in the early hours of the morning following 14 hours of negotiations

Pascal Canfin and Jytte Guteland prepare for the press conference on climate deal at the European Parliament
Pascal Canfin and Jytte Guteland prepare for the press conference on climate deal at the European Parliament

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The European Parliament and EU member states have reached an agreement on the bloc’s climate law, paving the way for legislation to be finalised by the end of June.

Lawmakers approved plans for at least a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, compared with 1990 levels, and then climate neutrality by 2050, following 14 hours of negotiations.

European Parliament negotiator Pascal Canfin told reporters the bloc would aim for up to a 57% reduction by 2030 – above the legally binding 55% cut.

This 55% target is a 15-percentage-point increase from the EU’s current 40% GHG emissions reduction target, but five percentage points below the 60% reduction target wanted by the European Parliament.

Canfin added that the law would also require member states and the EU to set an emissions reduction target for 2040, and aim for negative emissions beyond 2050.

He said: "The climate law maps out the path and milestones towards climate neutrality. No other major world power has done as much to date."

Industry body WindEurope noted in February that recent rates of wind power commissioning was well below what is required to meet the planned 55% emissions reduction target and carbon neutrality by mid-century. 

Menwhile, UK-based think-tank Ember added that wind and solar growth must nearly triple to meet the 2030 target.

The EU's latest announcement came on the eve of an international climate summit to be hosted by US president Joe Biden.

The European Commission had voted for a 55% emissions cut by 2030 in September 2020, while the European Parliament voted for a 60% cut the following month. The European Council approved a 55% reduction in December.

The latest agreement now needs to be rubber-stamped by the European Parliament and European Council to come into force.

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