The sharpening of the EU's climate ambitions was one of the main points at the EU summit in Brussels last week. And after discussing the issue without interruption during the night of 11 December, it was agreed that the current target of a 40 percent reduction in emissions by 2030 should be raised by at least 15 percent.
"We Europeans are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030. 10 years is tomorrow. So let's do our best to succeed, "tweeted French President Emmanuel Macron the next day.
However, Jytte Guteland, the European Parliament's key negotiator on the climate law, is not as impressed. In the compromise negotiations that will now begin between the EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, she hopes to raise the ambitions.
"It is important not to be fooled into believing that a net target of 55 percent is sufficient. I have a strong mandate from the elected representatives of the European Parliament to push for higher climate ambitions. I intend to do so when we meet and negotiate. "
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) also sees the emissions target as too low and calls the "compromise" a disappointment. Other environmental and climate organizations applaud the decision.
"It is no longer about a climate goal but about a societal goal for the whole of the EU," writes Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation, in a press release.
The European Council's conclusion will form the basis for a binding climate law that the European Commission is expected to present this summer. But first, many issues need to be investigated in detail.