A knife-edge vote yesterday ended up in the climate’s favour when the European Parliament voted in plenary for a 60% target for 2030.
The vote passed thanks to the support of most members of the S&D, Renew, Greens/EFA and GUE/NGL. Most of the centre-right EPP group, as well as ECR and ID ignored the extent of the climate crisis by voting against.
The European Parliament is to be applauded for taking a position that is far more progressive than the Commission’s 55% ‘net’ proposal. However, a 60% target for 2030 is still not in line with what the science shows we need to do to stand a chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.
WWF and other NGOs have been calling for at least 65% emissions reductions by 2030, and a separate target for carbon removals from sinks.
Imke Lübbeke, head of climate and energy at WWF European Policy Officecommented: “MEPs have nailed their climate colours to the mast, and they are not bad at all. MEPs have shown the Commission’s proposal was too low and the ‘net’ part unclear. However, they didn’t go far enough, and we cannot settle for second best when it comes to climate action. Yesterday’s 60% result needs to be taken up by Member States so we can take real steps towards a green economic recovery and a planet that thrives.”
The European Parliament also voted in favour of each Member State reaching climate neutrality individually by 2050.
MEPs also voted today in favour of other aspects of the EU Climate Law. These included as a scientific advisory body (the ‘European Climate Change Council’) to scrutinise EU policies; more consistency between public and private financial flows, EU policies and the EU’s climate neutrality goal; and sectoral decarbonisation roadmaps towards climate neutrality. MEPs also want all EU Member States to reach climate-neutrality by 2050 and that the EU should achieve negative emissions by 2051.
Unfortunately, MEPs failed to approve amendments on climate neutrality by 2040, an EU decarbonisation roadmap describing emissions reduction pathways in all sectors, and banning advertising or sponsorship promoting the fossil fuel industry.
Parliament's final position will be confirmed in a vote on Wednesday , and results will be announced on Thursday morning.
EU leaders are scheduled to discuss climate change issues on 15-16 October and finally decide at the December Council.