EU Commission ups climate target in State of the Union

16 September 2020

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivered her first State of the Union speech this morning in the European Parliament in Brussels, in which she proclaimed Europe must lead the way from fragility to vitality after the Covid-19 crisis, and proposed a higher 2030 climate target.

Reacting to Jagoda Munic, director, Friends of the Earth Europe had this to say:

"With Covid-19 having blown Europe and the world off course, Ursula von der Leyen is right that we need to reset Europe’s heading - but this must be to a different destination, an altogether greener, fairer, better Europe. She must now treat climate and ecosystem breakdown with utmost urgency as first order priorities alongside the pandemic.

"Von der Leyen has hailed EU solidarity - but people on the frontline of the climate crisis and Europe’s resource grabbing, citizens fighting for democracy and against corruption, refugees in hellish conditions - they are still waiting for Europe’s solidarity.

"Von der Leyen’s recovery policies rely too much on corporate techno-fixes like hydrogen and digital farming, while plundering raw materials beyond ecological limits - they need to embrace community solutions and prioritise people much more."

Emissions target

President von der Leyen announced the European Commission’s delayed policy to increase the EU 2030 targets for emissions reduction to at least 55%.

Jagoda Munic commented:

"The Commission’s proposal to pull up emissions cuts to 55% still shirks Europe’s responsibility to do our fair share of climate action. Europe largely caused the historical greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere today harming communities, we must go fully fossil free to avoid devastating warming.

"It’s irresponsible that the EU still has not ruled out subsidising more fossil fuels like gas."

MEPs voted yesterday to include subsidies for fossil gas in the EU's Just Transition Fund.