14 Dec 2020, 14:26
Julian Wettengel

“Real test” for new EU 2030 climate target lies in details – opinion

Süddeutsche Zeitung / WirtschaftsWoche / Welt / Frankfurter Rundschau

German media have praised the EU Council’s decision to raise the bloc's 2030 climate target as a success for the country’s outgoing EU presidency, but cautioned that talks about the details of implementation are yet to come. With the deals on the budget, the coronavirus recovery fund and the 2030 climate target, the German EU Council presidency has “saved the best for last,” writes Michael Bauchmüller in an opinion piece in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “But targets alone will not save the climate. More important is what Europe actually does about it.” The debate about individual steps to reach the target is only just beginning, he writes, adding that the agreed 55 percent emissions reduction would not be enough. “But measured against the fact that all Europeans have to go along with their very different structures and backgrounds, this agreement is much more than could have been expected two years ago.”

“The real test is to negotiate the details,” writes Silke Wettach in an opinion piece in the WirtschaftsWoche. It is already clear that the heads of state and government will have to come back to the issue of climate action already in the first half of 2021. From a German perspective, the timing of the legislative proposals the European Commission intends to publish by June 2021 is interesting: “the debate about these will only really kick in in September – when the national election campaign is at its peak,” writes Wettach.
Leading the German EU Council presidency, Chancellor Angela Merkel managed to “close the ranks” among member states with the decisions from the summit, writes Christoph Schiltz in Welt am Sonntag. “That’s already something in the EU.” Raising the climate target to 55 percent is a “great success” for the chancellor, “but it remains completely unclear how the associated rising costs are supposed to be brought down.”
While Europe puts itself back at the top of global climate action frontrunners with a new target, it is still not enough to help keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius, writes Joachim Wille in the Frankfurter Rundschau. “All that remains is the hope that the Green Deal billions will trigger the climate boost.”

EU heads of state and government have agreed to significantly increase the Union’s greenhouse gas reduction target to at least 55 percent by 2030, from a prior official target of a 40 percent cut. The target has yet to be officially set in talks with the European Parliament, which has voted for a reduction of 60 percent.

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