European Leaders Set New Goal - 55 Percent Cut in Greenhouse Gases by 2030Environment | December 11, 2020, Friday // 16:48| views
European Union leaders have agreed to more aggressive cuts in greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade, one year after launching a Green Deal that led the way for other major economies to raise their climate ambitions.
The decision to cut pollution by at least 55% by 2030, up from 40% previously, was expected. But it helps keep global momentum on the issue going into 2021, when incoming U.S. President Joe Biden plans to re-join the landmark Paris Agreement and set a 2050 net-zero goal. It also gives European leaders a bold new commitment to tout at the global climate meeting starting this Saturday.
The EU decision was reached at a summit in Brussels that began yesterday and ran through most of the night as three, fossil-fuel reliant Eastern countries opposed an initial deal, asking for more help to clean up their economies.
Their last-minute pushback shocked western leaders, prompting German Chancellor Angela Merkel to say she was speechless, according to two officials with knowledge of the discussions. “Climate was a nightmare,” said an EU diplomat. “I’ve never seen so many revised versions of one-page conclusions.”
Hungary and the Czech Republic dropped their objections during the night but Poland continued to block the deal until 8 a.m. on Friday. It eventually agreed to the new target after getting assurances that the financial burden will not fall disproportionately on its shoulders. The new target will require an additional 350 billion euros (4 billion) a year in energy production and infrastructure investment.
The position of the Bulgarian government and PM Borisov during the summit remained unclear even if the country also heavily relies on fossil fuel energy.
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