Daily Management Review

‘Climate Neutrality Must Be Achieved By 2050’: The EU Bloc Leaders


The EU Summit leaders’ footnote to final statement shows support for the “mid-century goal”.

Source: flickr.com; © Abhisit Vejjajiva; (CC BY 2.0)
Source: flickr.com; © Abhisit Vejjajiva; (CC BY 2.0)
The EU has pushed towards turning the “biggest economic bloc” in the world “carbon-neutral by 2050”. The news came as a footnote of the summit that was held on Thursday, June 20, 2019, while “Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary” put up “fierce resistance”.
Germany and France has been at the helm of pushing the “28-member” bloc to be a leader and set example through “an ambitious new climate goal” ahead of the “U.N. climate talks” which are scheduled to take place in September. However, unanimity lacked while persuasive efforts “dragged on for four hours” without any success as “the central and eastern European states” still feared that economies “dependent on nuclear power and coal” would take a blow.
The leaders of the bloc urged the European Investment Bank, in short EIB, to “increase climate funding” while acknowledging the “vast differences” in the diverse energy landscape that dominates the continents. Nevertheless, Poland “remained unmoved”. As per the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki:
“We need concrete things on the table. What additional money could be allotted to Poland so that we do not end up in an offside trap?”
Twenty four leaders of the bloc, however, came in support of the “mid-century goal”, while their footnote to final statement added:
“For a large majority of member states, climate neutrality must be achieved by 2050.”
President Emmanuel Macron of France had initiated the push for the EU to absorb “as much as it emits by 2050” in March, while “three other nations” came to support the same. With the turn of event, this initiative has snowballed and is gathering “political prominence” for the “fight against global warming”.
In fact, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, addressing the summit brought into notice the youths protesting on climate change has “helped propel Green parties to their strongest showing yet in May’s European Parliament elections”. In Macron’s words:
“So when we debate, when we advance, we are able to grow the club, we are able to convince, we are able to progress”.
EU diplomats were hopeful that eventually the entire bloc will be onboard to the climate goal, although the Thursday’s summit had been the last option “before global climate talks in September”, wherein the UN intends on securing “higher pledges” for limiting the global temperature to “1.5 degrees Celsius”. On the other hand, the Secretary-General of the UN, Antonio Guterres has urged the bloc to set up a “55% reduction of greenhouse gases” goal by 2030, which happens to be “far more than the bloc’s existing goal”.
According to Reuters:
“The 2050 target was widely seen as paving the way for the EU to revise up the nearer-term target - although doing so has far less support as doubts remain over how to pay for the economic shift to low-carbon technology in big employment sectors such as transport, farming and building”.
The EU has also come up with a projection which shows that the bloc would require an “additional 175 billion to 290 billion euros” investment on an annual basis for arriving at “net-zero emissions”. While, the “Greenpeace EU climate policy adviser”, Sebastian Mang said:
“With people on the streets demanding action and warnings from scientists that the window to respond is closing fast, our governments had a chance to lead from the front”.
“They blew it.”