Report: More efforts needed to achieve EU climate goals

Report: More efforts needed to achieve EU climate goals

The European Union wants to become climate neutral by 2050. A variety of laws have been introduced for this purpose – but is that enough? The experts make it clear who has to act now.

According to researchers, more needs to be done to achieve the EU’s climate goals – especially in the areas of transport, buildings, agriculture and forestry.

The potential of the so-called Fit for 55 package for lower CO2 emissions in the EU is recognized, according to a report by the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change. However, additional measures are essential if the international community wants to achieve its goal of climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest, according to the scientists.

The EU’s stated goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 and to become climate neutral by 2050. The “Fit for 55” legislative package under the umbrella of the so-called Green Deal is intended to ensure this. The strategy includes measures in various areas such as energy, transport, industry and agriculture. After the majority of the planned climate laws have already been initiated in the past few months, the main focus now is on implementation.

Experts recommend key measures

In order to achieve the goals, the experts recommend 13 so-called key measures for a more effective implementation and design of the EU’s climate policy framework for different periods of time. According to the scientists, the EU countries in particular now have a duty: the advisory board is urgently calling on national governments to improve and implement their national energy and climate plans, it said. At the EU level, outstanding negotiations on important Green Deal initiatives should be concluded quickly.

Among other things, something has to happen in agriculture. According to the experts, emissions have not decreased here because there are too few financial incentives for farmers. “At the same time, EU forests are absorbing less and less carbon as they age and the impacts of climate change worsen.”

The experts recommend that the EU’s agricultural policy should be better aligned with the climate goals: “Among other things, by shifting funding away from emissions-intensive agricultural practices such as livestock breeding and towards lower-emission products and activities.” According to the recommendation, a form of emissions pricing should be introduced in the agricultural and land use sector by 2031 at the latest.

Phase out fossil fuels

The advisory board also recommends that EU policy be directed entirely towards an exit from fossil fuels. While the EU pushed for an ambitious result on this issue at the last world climate conference, its own policy has not yet been fully aligned.

For the period after 2030, reforms to the existing EU policy are necessary. For example, the EU emissions trading system needs to be adjusted, it was said.

The advisory board, which was founded in 2021 and is based in Copenhagen, says it is an independent institute that advises the EU with scientific findings on the subject of climate change. Scientists recently advocated reducing EU emissions by 90 to 95 percent by 2040 compared to 1990. This reduction is crucial to mitigating climate risks. The EU Commission plans to present its climate target for 2040 at the beginning of February.

Source: Stern

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