01 Oct 2020, 16:41
Julian Wettengel

EU solidarity is key for more ambitious 2030 climate target – German env min


Clean Energy Wire

EU member states must show solidarity in increasing and then reaching the bloc’s 2030 climate target, said German environment minister Svenja Schulze after an informal meeting with her EU colleagues in Berlin. “We talked a lot about solidarity and about helping each other and solving this issue together as the European Union,” said Schulze. EU environment commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius seconded Schulze: “It’s an EU target which we will achieve as a union without leaving anyone behind.” Schulze cautioned that the environment ministers met informally only in the past two days and it was never their aim to make official decisions. “The meeting was more about describing the different challenges as the states come from different starting points and talking about good examples in helping each other move forward with climate action,” she said, adding: "We have thus laid an important foundation in Berlin for the forthcoming decisions."

The German EU Council presidency now officially backs the European Commission proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030, after Chancellor Angela Merkel endorsed the target in parliament. The European Commission under president Ursula von der Leyen has proposed the increase from the current 40 percent cut, but a decision remains uncertain. Member states, some of which have cautioned against too much ambition, still need to agree on a common position before a final target is embedded in the planned EU climate law following negotiations with the European Parliament.

Schulze said it was unclear whether the member states would agree on a new 2030 target as early as October at the next Council meetings, and whether this would be up to the environment ministers or the heads of state and government. “It depends on how much time we have to solve the problems, and there are still some problems,” said Schulze.

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