The European Council on October 24 endorsed a binding EU target of at least a 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030 compared to 1990.
In addition, it set a target of at least 27% for the share of renewable energy consumed in the EU in 2030. This is also binding at EU level.
An indicative target of at least 27% was set for improving energy efficiency in 2030, compared to projections of future energy consumption based on current criteria. This will be reviewed by 2020, having in mind an EU level of 30%, the Council said.
The full European Council announcement is available below.
Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), welcomed the announcement:
“I applaud this move, which provides valuable momentum towards the Paris 2015 global climate agreement. The decision means that the EU will be able to submit its contribution to the Paris agreement by March next year. And it opens the door to greater ambition by all countries. The fact that the 28 countries of the EU, in different stages of economic development, can reach a good compromise bodes well for the ability of all nations to come to an effective agreement next year.”
The final round of formal negotiations before this year's UN climate convention conference in Lima, Peru has begun in the German city of Bonn. The session, running from 20 to 25 October, gives governments the important opportunity to further develop a cohesive text of a new draft climate agreement.
EU Climate Action Commissionner Connie Hedegaard said of the EU decision: "A binding 40% CO2 reduction effort domestically in Europe is not an easy task. It can only be achieved through a major transformation in all parts of the society. That is why the EU leaders' decision to adopt the Commission's proposal is an ambitious and important step forward. Important not only to Europe and the Europeans, but also to the rest of the world."
Pic by Yanni Koutsomitis