It could turn out perfectly. At their meeting on 10-11 December, European leaders plan to make a decision on the bloc’s new 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target. Just in time for the 5th anniversary of the day the gavel fell at the UN climate change conference in Paris in 2015 on 12 December. And right on cue for UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the UK government who jointly host a Climate Ambition Summit that day, expecting countries from across the globe to commit to more ambitious climate action.
So it could turn out perfectly – if EU leaders manage to find an agreement.
However, some countries have long signalled that they would have a tough time agreeing to reduce emissions by “at least 55 percent”, which the European Commission proposed in September 2020 and which looks like the most likely outcome of negotiations.
In addition, negotiations have become more complicated after Poland and Hungary blocked a deal on the bloc’s budget for the next seven years and its economic recovery package funded by jointly-backed borrowing. Media reported that the move is likely to dominate the meeting in December, together with Brexit difficulties looming, leaving little room for discussion on the 2030 target.
In March 2020, the European Commission proposed the European Climate Law, which would make the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 legally binding. Another element of the law – until now left blank – will be a more ambitious EU greenhouse gas reduction target for the year 2030. This would be Europe’s contribution to global efforts to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement. Germany currently holds the EU Council presidency and the government has said it aims to reach an agreement on “at least 55 percent” by the end of 2020.
Ahead of the meeting of EU heads of state and government – the European Council – on 10-11 December and the Environment Council one week later, Clean Energy Wire invites experts to lay out the current state of discussions on raising the EU’s 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target. They will supply background that journalists need to report on this defining issue of the German EU Council presidency.
|10.00 - 10.05||Welcome and introduction
by moderator Julian Wettengel, Clean Energy Wire
|10.05 - 10.15||Crunch time for a new 2030 EU climate target
by Manon Dufour, Head of Brussels Office at E3G
|10.15 - 10.20||
|10.20 - 10.30||
State of play of EU member state talks on raising the 2030 climate target (off the record)
|10.30 - 10.40||
|10.40 - 10.45||
The view from Poland
|10.45 - 10.55||
|10.55 - 11.00||Conclusions and outlook
Karsten Sach is the Director-General for Climate Policy, European and International Policy at the German environment ministry (BMU). He has been Germany's chief negotiator at UNFCCC climate conferences since 1999.
Manon Dufour is Head of Brussels Office, E3G, and an expert in European climate policy and politics. Manon works with European policy-makers, civil society and businesses to establish the necessary policies and alliances to reach climate neutrality. She has shaped energy, competition and industry policy to drive decarbonisation. Her current work focuses particularly on the European Green Deal.
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Most of the web-event will be on the record. However, Karsten Sach from the German environment ministry will speak off the record. The use of quotes must be requested with Andreas Kübler at the ministry's press office.
The web-event language is English.
Sound quality is greatly improved by using headsets with a microphone. It is recommended that all
active participants equip themselves accordingly (smartphone headsets are sufficient).