Global warming is happening and affecting citizens while threatening our long-term sustainability on this planet. The average temperature of our planet has already increased by 1°C and the world is currently not on track to achieve the Paris Agreement objective of limiting temperature change below 2°C, let alone 1.5° C. The 2018 special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 1.5°C indicated that already at 2°C the world would see dramatic and potentially irreversible impacts due to climate change. Science is also clear on the close link and interdependence of climate change and biodiversity loss.
The EU has taken global leadership in tackling climate change and actively pursues policies to cut its greenhouse gas emissions and to decouple these from economic growth. This allows the EU to modernise its economy and energy system, making them sustainable in the long term and to improve energy security and the health of its citizens by reduced air pollution.
The EU has already adopted climate and energy legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. Furthermore, it adopted ambitious energy efficiency and renewable energy legislation, whose full implementation is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions beyond the existing target – by around 45% by 2030. As part of this legislation, Member States develop National Energy and Climate Plans to ensure that common EU objectives will be met. Unless complemented by further policies, the agreed legislation is expected to lead to around 60% greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2050. In 2018, the Commission proposed for the EU to become climate compensating any remaining GHG emissions by absorptions. The European Parliament neutral by 2050 and the European Council endorsed this objective in 2019. The Commission has proposed to enshrine this objective in the European Climate Law.
According to the latest Eurobarometer survey, 93% of EU citizens see climate change as a serious problem and a significant majority of the EU population wants to see increased action on climate change. As a reflection of this and due to the urgency of the climate and linked ecological challenges, the European Commission has proposed in December 2019 a as one of its priorities including a list European Green Deal of forthcoming proposals to deliver it. The Green Deal aims, among others, to align all EU policies with the 2050 climate neutrality objective, sending an early and predictable signal to all sectors and actors to plan
2 for the transformation.
As part of the Green Deal, the Commission intends to propose to increase the EU’s 2030 target for greenhouse gas emission reductions to at least -50% and towards -55% compared to 1990 levels, in a responsible way. The Commission will thoroughly assess the feasibility and the social, economic and environmental impacts of increasing the 2030 target. This assessment will look into how to increase ambition in a way that enhances EU competitiveness, ensures social fairness and access to secure, affordable and sustainable energy and other material resources, benefits citizens and reverses biodiversity loss and environmental degradation. The Commission intends to present a comprehensive plan to increase the EU 2030 climate target in the third quarter of 2020.
Building on the existing 2030 legislation and the upcoming comprehensive plan, the Commission will review and propose to revise, where necessary, the key relevant energy and climate legislation by June 2021. This will include a coherent set of changes to the existing 2030 climate, energy and transport framework, notably related to the EU Emissions Trading System Directive, the Effort Sharing Regulation and the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry Regulation, CO Emissions Performance Standards for Cars and Vans 2 and, as appropriate, the Renewable Energy Directive and the Energy Efficiency Directive.
This public consultation invites citizens and organisations to contribute to the assessment of how to increase the EU 2030 emission reduction ambition in a responsible way. Please note that relevant questions and topics may also be covered under other public consultations such as for instance the Strategy on Sustainable and Smart Mobility, the EU Adaptation Strategy, the “Farm to Fork” Strategy, the Action Plan to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights, the Targeted Consultation for the Evaluation of the Guidelines on State aid for Environmental protection and Energy 2014-2020.