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Today the European Council met to discuss a new mitigation target for 2030. This target should have been an important input to the current debate about new and increased climate ambition. In September the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, invites all heads of states to a meeting in New York, to discuss increased ambition. However, with the decision from today, EU won’t have a new mitigation target to present until October, the earliest.
This is disappointing, and frustrating. I would have liked to see EU becoming a climate leader, an actor who could become an example, who could push and inspire other countries, to also increase their targets.
However, unfortunately it is not only the decision to postpone this important debate which is frustrating. The level of ambition in the current proposals is also too low. It is true that a 40% domestic reduction target for 2030 is more ambitious than most other western countries, and that is good. But unfortunately it is still lower than what we need if the global temperature rise should be kept under two degrees.
EU member states have built their welfare with fossil based energy, and there is a big historic responsibility to take action. An ambitious reduction target for 2030 is therefore important, and clear targets for energy efficiency and renewable energy will also be important to ensure that the union is transforming into a low carbon economy.
Hopefully EU countries will now use the extra time, for pushing the targets further up. When heads of state return to the table in October, I hope they will agree on an ambitious target, which can truly make a difference in the fight against climate change.
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