In the run-up to December’s COP24 climate conference in Poland, ministers from ten EU countries have urged the EU to chart a “credible and detailed” path towards net-zero emissions in 2050.
Energy and environment ministers from Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden have co-signed a joint letter to EU Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete calling for “a clear direction” towards net-zero emissions.
On 28 November, the EU executive is scheduled to launch its vision for 2050, which will include eight different options or pathways that can drag the bloc’s economy onto a Paris-compliant trajectory. Member states will eventually choose the one they agree on.
The EU’s energy governance law obligates the Commission to include at least one pathway towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, as well as one scenario that should be in keeping with the Paris deal’s top-level target of limiting global warming to just 1.5 degrees by century’s end.
In this respect the ten member states want to “encourage the Commission to set a clear direction towards net zero GHG emissions in the EU by 2050” and insist that the pathways should be presented in a “credible and detailed way”.
But President Jean-Claude Juncker, who is pencilled in to appear at COP24, could throw his weight behind the net-zero choice, particularly as EU heads of states prepare for next year’s “future of Europe” summit in Romania, scheduled in May.
The letter from EU capitals adds momentum to the net-zero emission goal that was kicked off in October by a United Nations report from scientists at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), charting a pathway for keeping global warming below 1.5C. It was followed up by a European Parliament resolution that urged the Commission to make sure the strategy includes a net-zero option for 2050.
The EC Commissioner Cañete recently announced that the bloc is now set to increase its emissions reduction pledge from 40% by 2030 to 45%.