EU leaders reached an agreement last Friday to reduce the bloc’s collective greenhouse gas emissions by 55% below 1990 levels by 2030. The deal came after the EU failed to agree to reduce emissions by a less ambitious 40% by 2030 in October.

What is Happening?

Two factors allowed for coal-dependent members of the EU and the rest to agree on the target:

  1. The EU agreed on a USD$2.2 trillion budget last Thursday evening that includes funds for transitioning away from fossil fuels.
  2. Each country will not be held to the same standards, and countries with more diverse energy sources can compensate for slower transitions from coal-dependent states.

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Some activists, such as those at Friends of the Earth Europe, said that the EU should be more ambitious in its goal in order to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement. Colin Roche, Friends of the Earth Europe climate justice coordinator, says, “Our leaders must go further to deliver Europe’s fair share of global action to cut carbon and live up to the agreement they made in Paris five years ago. Meanwhile if this new target is to be meaningful, planned new EU infrastructure spending must cut out all fossil fuels now.”

Featured image by: Flickr