On a High Note: EU Draft Raises the Bar on Climate Targets

On a High Note: EU Draft Raises the Bar on Climate Targets

A new draft document from the European Union cites plans for the bloc to update its “nationally-determined contribution” (NDC) to meet the Paris Agreement. Having already pledged one of the most ambitious goals of any major economy, to cut its net emissions by 55% by 2030, EU officials hope to raise that target by a few more percentage points.

Over the past year, Europe has experienced intense heatwaves, drought, food insecurity, and rising energy costs that have destabilized its economy and peace. A recent report found that in Germany, weather events amplified by the climate crisis have cost the country at least €145 billion over the last 20 years. An analysis of public companies’ climate action and progress projects a discouraging 2.9 degrees C of global temperature rise. Meanwhile, another study cites that 5 of the world’s 9 tipping points have passed their thresholds.

The plan is unlikely to be ready for November’s COP27, as it’s still in negotiations and may see changes before EU countries finalize its approval. Once set, many hope it will pressure other major emitters into setting more aggressive targets and deeper cuts. According to Tom Evans from think-tank E3G, "Taking this step would put the EU further ahead as a global climate leader."

DW: The EU climate deal (Documentary), October 26, 2021.

France 24: EU Parliament approves ban on new fossil-fueled cars by 2035, June 8, 2022.

European Parliamentary Research Service: Fitfor55 | A new energy system, May 13, 2022.

DW: Time is running out | WMO warns 1.5 degree threshold could be topped by 2026, May 18, 2022.

PBS: What Will Earth Look Like When These 6 Tipping Points Hit?, September 6, 2022.

The Economist: See what three degrees of global warming looks like, October 30, 2021.