EU drafts deal to upgrade 2030 climate change target next month

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BRUSSELS: The European Union has drafted a
deal
to curb greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by
2030, against 1990 levels, a
target it hopes its 27 members will endorse at a summit
next
month, the document showed.

If the Dec 10-11
EU leaders’ meeting approves the draft conclusions seen by Reuters, it could make the
EU the first major economy
to submit a new
climate pledge under the 2015 U.N. Paris
climate agreement, before a year-end deadline
to do so.

The current
2030
target for
EU members, who together make up the European Council, is a 40% cut in emissions from 1990 levels, already higher than the amount pledged by other big emitters such as China and the United States.

“The European Council endorses a binding
EU
target of a net reduction of at least 55% in domestic greenhouse gas emissions by
2030 compared
to 1990,” the draft said.

The bloc’s executive, the European Commission, proposed the
target in September, saying anything less would fail
to put the
EU on track
to reach net zero emissions by 2050 – a
target it has already signed up
to.

The U.N.
climate science panel has said the world needs net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050
to keep global temperature rises this century
to below 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial times – the level required
to avoid catastrophic
climate
change.

The document says the new
2030
target would be delivered “collectively” by
EU countries – an assurance
to countries concerned by the economic transformation that deeper emissions cuts will require.

That could soothe the Czech Republic, which has said it could support a 55% emissions cut if it is
EU-wide, but not a national requirement.

The draft also says the
target will reflect countries’ different national circumstances, and that upcoming reforms
to the
EU carbon market will make funds available
to help poorer states invest in cleaner energy.

Coal dependent Poland has said it needs more analysis of the economic fallout before signing up
to a tougher
climate
target, and last
month called for
EU carbon market reforms
to redirect revenues
to poorer countries.

EU ambassadors will discuss the draft later on Wednesday. They or their leaders can alter it up
to and during the summit in a bid
to bring all the countries on board.

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