Brussels: European Union (EU) leaders were still looking Friday for an agreement to cut the bloc’s net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 per cent by the end of the decade compared to 1990 levels following a night of intense discussions. With the fight against climate change a priority of the European Union, a deal is crucial to avoid a hugely embarrassing deadlock ahead of a UN climate meeting later this week.
Reunited since Thursday for a two-day summit here, a majority of the 27 member states want to sign off the EU’s executive commission’s proposal to toughen the bloc’s intermediate target on the way to climate neutrality by mid-century.
But financial concerns by coal-reliant eastern nations worried about how to fund and handle the green transition have so far slowed down progress.
Five years after the Paris agreement, the EU wants to be a leader in the fight against global warming. Yet the bloc’s heads of states and governments were unable to agree on the new target the last time they met in October.
Another delay in revising the EU’s current 40 per cent emission cuts objective for 2030 would be particularly embarrassing before the virtual ‘Climate Ambition Summit’ marking five years since the Paris deal.
The event Saturday will be co-hosted by the UK with the United Nations and France.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last week he wants the UK to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 68 per cent from 1990 levels by 2030 — a more ambitious goal than the EU’s.