WWF welcomes the Commission’s commitment to a net-zero emissions Europe - but we should aim for 2040
Brussels, Belgium – 28 November 2018
The Commission’s plan to make the EU carbon neutral is a vital step to respond to the climate crisis. The policy actions to get there, and how fast they are put in place, will be crucial to keep warming below the 1.5°C target.
Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate & Energy, WWF European Policy Office said of the Commission’s proposed strategy:
“Today is a defining moment in the fight against climate change. With this strategy the EU becomes the first major player to respond to the recent stark warnings from climate scientists and to take action to implement the Paris Agreement. However, we need to reach zero net emissions faster - by 2040 -, and we can achieve this with the solutions that are available to us right now.
WWF urges Member States to support a net-zero emissions target for Europe. As the Commission has demonstrated, this will also boost jobs and growth, deliver tens of billions in health benefits and save trillions of euros on fossil fuel imports – money that will be invested here in the EU instead.
“As to how we get there, only the 8th scenario is viable”, added Lübbeke. “Relying on bioenergy coupled with yet unproven carbon capture and storage technology at large scale is high risk, and a better and safer approach is the rapid deployment of technologies that are already at our fingertips: energy efficiency, renewable energy, circular economy principles and nature-based solutions to CO2 removal, such as the protection and restoration of forests, wetlands and other ecosystems”
While a long-term target is essential, last month’s IPCC report made clear that the key to limiting warming to 1.5°C is urgent short-term action. To give this strategy the best chance of achieving its objective, the EU must also upgrade its 2030 targets dramatically, and adapt its regulatory framework accordingly, to provide the incentives now to transition to a low-carbon economy.
Senior Communications Officer, WWF European Policy Office
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