EU leaders want greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategy

EPA/DANIEL REINHARDT/FILE PICTURE

The sun sets behind a smoking chimney in Wismar, Germany, October 31, 2015.

Council asks the Commission to present a proposal for a new EU strategy on how to implement the Paris Agreement


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The European Council on March 22 adopted conclusions including the Paris Agreement, calling for a new EU strategy on how to curb EU greenhouse gas emissions.

“The European Council invites the Commission to present by the first quarter of 2019 a proposal for a Strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions reduction in accordance with the Paris Agreement, taking into account the national plans,” one of the adopted conclusions reads.

EU leaders called upon the European Commission to urgently develop a draft of a new EU long-term climate strategy. The strategy needs to be ready by early 2019 and clearly lay out what the Paris Agreement commitments mean for the EU.

In reaction to the Council conclusions, Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said: “This is an important step that will set the wheels in motion for raising the EU’s climate target. The new strategy needs to outline what efforts the EU will pursue to keep temperature rise within the 1.5-degree limit set in the Paris Agreement. This will prove beyond doubt that the current climate target for 2030 is insufficient and trigger its review and increase.”

This is the first time since the Paris Agreement was struck that EU leaders call for concrete, practical measures to turn it into reality. The Paris Agreement requires all countries to develop pathways that are coherent with its long-term goals to keep climate change well below 2°C – and aim for no more than 1.5°C.

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