The EU is debating a plan to slash net carbon emissions to zero by 2050, an objective to which the UK has already committed.

The 30-year plan will be debated on Thursday in Brussels, with France and Germany reportedly ready to back the ambitious objective. France has proposed net-zero emissions legislation by 2050, while Finland (2035) and Norway (2030) have set far more ambitious targets.

Within the EU long term plans are ambitious, but their credibility is undermined by the failure to deliver on short-to-medium term objectives. France, Germany, and the UK are set to miss a number of their carbon targets in the next several years and a European Commission report published on 18 June suggests that the EU will fail to meet its target of producing 32% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.

The UK was the first G20 country to commit to the 2050 net-zero target, with former Prime Minister Theresa May having already signed off on the Climate Change Act earlier this month. However, even that positive initiative is undermined by the fact that Britain aims to use international carbon credits to achieve this objective rather than through radical reforms of energy production and consumption.