19 Jun 2019, 16:33
Julian Wettengel

EU set to agree climate neutrality 2050 in the end – German official

Clean Energy Wire

European leaders will ultimately agree on the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 for the European Union – if not at the European Council in Brussels this week then at another occasion, said a German government official in Berlin, reiterating Germany’s support for the target.

“In the EU, not every decision is made instantly. If it’s not in the text after the meeting, we will try again, and I am quite sure that we will get there in the end,” said the official. “But maybe we’ll already get an agreement at the summit.” For Germany, the question is not about whether to aim for climate neutrality by 2050, but how this goal can be achieved and under what conditions, “such as social conditions or the competitiveness of the European economy,” the official added.

Documents leaked a couple of days ahead of the summit had shown that Germany will join a growing group of EU countries to support the pledge to aim for carbon neutrality by 2050, increasing the likelihood EU leaders will agree to the goal at a meeting this week (20-21 June). A government spokesperson largely confirmed the media reports. A lack of German support has so far been a major hurdle. Angela Merkel’s government has long resisted calls by a group of European neighbours, including France, to sign on to a pledge to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century. Germany’s current aim is to cut greenhouse gas emissions by "80 to 95 percent" by 2050. It was only in May of this year that Merkel signalled a turnabout. At the Petersberg Climate Dialogue she said her recently set up “climate cabinet” would debate how Germany could reach climate neutrality by mid-century. Should her ministers find a “sound” way to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, Germany would be in a position to officially support the pledge, Merkel had said.

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