Climate Change

Europe’s climate pathway after new 2040 target recommendation

To reach the goal of making the EU climate neutral by 2050, the European Commission this week presented its recommendation of a 90% net greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2040 compared to 1990 levels.

The 2040 recommendation follows the already agreed-upon 55% emissions reduction target by 2030.

The chart maps the resulting pathway to 2050, from the most recent historical data in 2022, when emissions were 31% lower (including international aviation), via the agreed 2030, the new recommended 2040 target, and then towards to 2050 agreed net zero target.

The 2040 target set out an ambitious slope over the next decades, but it will be absolutely critical to succeed.

The Commission said that achieving this goal “… will require a number of enabling conditions to be met. The starting point is the full implementation of the existing legislation to reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2030”.

The 2040 recommendation is the start of a political debate and stakeholder dialogue, with decisions taken by the next Commission after the 2024 European elections.

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