New negotiations on EU effort sharing needed to raise 2030 climate target – Merkel
Clean Energy Wire
German chancellor Angela Merkel has said EU member states will have to re-negotiate their contributions to greenhouse gas emission reductions in sectors not covered by the Emissions Trading System (ETS) in case the bloc decides to raise its 2030 climate target. “For me it is obvious that we need to have new negotiations about effort sharing,” the chancellor told national parliament (Bundestag). She added that if Europe wanted to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050, all member states would have to raise their ambition, also those who contribute less so far. “It would be tactically unwise to say we’ll contribute what we’ve always done without asking the others and even before having a proposal by the European Commission.”
Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance said a “fair” allocation of greenhouse gas emissions reduction efforts is a prerequisite to raising the joint 2030 climate target. “Our European partners must contribute to reaching the climate target with comparable efforts,” the parliamentary group wrote in a position paper supporting the European Green Deal. The MPs call for “quickly” expanding the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) to the transport and buildings sectors – with a small group of pioneer countries doing so already by the mid-2020s. The conservatives said supplementary emissions reduction efforts in third countries should count towards reaching an ambitious European goal.
The coronavirus crisis has “fundamentally changed the situation for political action” and the EU’s Green Deal, said the paper. The latter had to be designed to support the management of the crisis, not hinder it. The MPs put a lot of emphasis on safeguarding a strong economy and call for example for “a European industry power price” in light of high electricity costs. They call for the development of an EU hydrogen strategy and realistic roadmaps for CCS/CCU (carbon capture and storage/utilisation) to help reach climate neutrality by 2050 – a goal the group explicitly supports. The CDU/CSU rejects the proposal to give the European Commission the authority to introduce interim climate targets through so-called “delegated acts”, instead supporting the existing procedure where the European Parliament, Commission and member states have to come to an agreement.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last year presented the framework of an ambitious and comprehensive economic plan to make the continent climate neutral by 2050 – the European Green Deal. Part of this is a bloc-wide climate law and the proposal to increase the 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target to 50-55 percent, which Germany’s Merkel has endorsed.