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European Parliament Committee votes to cut emissions by 60% by 2030

The majority of MEPs in the European Parliament’s Environment Committee (ENVI) supported to increase the legally binding 2030 greenhouse gases emission reductions target to 60 per cent up from the current 40 per cent.

This is a more ambitious target than the one being considered by the European Commission, which is set to present its plan for increasing the EU 2030 climate targets next week.

Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans said earlier in September that an increased target in the range of 50 to 55 per cent is doable and that it can underpin sustainable economic growth.

However, MEPs seem to take it one step further. Jytte Guteland from the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) tweeted that the proposed draft report is a significant improvement of the Climate Law compared to the Commission’s proposal and the Committee’s vote sends a clear message to the European Commission and the EU Council in light of the upcoming negotiations.

Experts say that the 60 per cent emission reduction target would be a key step towards reaching the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement, but there’s still much to do.

“A straight linear trajectory from 1990 to net-zero in 2059 would have us at – 66 per cent in 2030, so the – 60 per cent proposal of ENVI is substantially closer to giving us a safe landing towards a carbon-neutral second half of the century,” said Suzana Carp, Political Strategy Director at international environmental NGO Bellona Europa.

The ball is now with the European Parliament which will be amending the file in the October Plenary session. Then the Climate Law must also be approved by national governments, who show different levels of ambition regarding emission reductions.

“We call on the European Parliament in plenary to at least back the agreed target of 60 per cent and preferably go for a 65 per cent emission reduction target for 2030 to be in line with the Paris Agreement and the latest available science,” said Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe. “This would send the right signal to Member States as they will discuss the 2030 target in the October European Council.”

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