Parliament strengthens 2030 climate and energy package

MEPs gave greenhouse gas emissions the red light. [Bennian/Shutterstock]

MEPs on Wednesday (14 June) voted to strengthen a draft EU regulation that fixes binding national targets for cuts to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from sectors not covered by quotas. EURACTIV’s partner Journal de l’Environnement reports.

Climate change was on the agenda in this week’s European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg. In the presence of the president of the Marshall Islands, whose country is among those most threatened by rising sea levels, MEPs showed their determination to take the fight to climate change.

They started by criticising US President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the Paris Agreement. But, as Greens group leader Ska Keller said, Trump bashing will not correct the EU’s own failings.

“Many, including the German government, are happy to present themselves as climate saviours while continuing to water down the policies needed to protect our environment,” she said.

At its monthly plenary session, the European Parliament adopted a regulation fixing the GHG emissions reduction efforts each member state must make between 2021 and 2030; the Effort Sharing Decision presented in 2014 as part of the 2030 climate and energy package.

To provide more long-term stability, MEPs also fixed an objective of cutting GHG emissions by 80% by 2050, compared to 2005 levels.

According to the NGO Transport and Environment, the measures adopted on Wednesday should allow Europe to cut 529 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, as opposed to the 452 million tonnes foreseen under the Commission’s initial proposal.

Member states still have to adopt their own positions ahead of negotiations on a compromise.