The Commission is charting the path to reach the goal of making the European Union climate neutral by 2050. It recommends a 90% net greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2040 compared to 1990 levels, which is in line with recent scientific advice and the EU’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.
The following actions will be needed to achieve the 90% reduction target by 2040:
- fully implement existing EU laws to reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2030
- decarbonise industry by relying on existing strengths like wind power, hydropower, and electrolysers. To step up this work strand, the Commission has put forward new measures to manage carbon emissions by industry in the EU that will see investment in technologies that can capture and store carbon, and re-use it
- increase domestic manufacturing in growth sectors like batteries, electric vehicles, heat pumps, solar cells and others
- keep fairness, solidarity and social policies at the core of the transition, helping vulnerable citizens, regions, businesses and workers through tools such as the Social Climate Fund and Just Transition Fund
- have an open dialogue with all concerned, including farmers, businesses, social partners and citizens
In the last five years, climate change has caused an estimated €170 billion of economic damage. Its costs and impacts on humans are increasingly large and visible. We need to act now to strengthen Europe’s resilience against future crises and be less dependent on fossil fuel imports. A 2040 climate target will also help European industry, investors, citizens and governments to make decisions in this decade that will keep the EU on track to meet its climate neutrality objective in 2050.
The target will now be discussed with the European Parliament and the Member States. The next Commission will put forward legislative proposals on that basis. The European Climate Law writes into law the goal set out in the European Green Deal for Europe’s economy and society to become climate neutral by 2050. The law sets the intermediate target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.