European Commission proposes cutting emissions by 55 pct by 2030: von der Leyen

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday that the executive arm of the European Union (EU) is proposing to cut emissions by 55 percent from 1990 levels by 2030, in response to the climate emergency.

The new target, which is more ambitious than the 40-percent goal originally set in the Green Deal but falls short of the 60 percent target requested by the European Parliament’s environment committee last week, was announced in von der Leyen’s first State of Union speech at the European Parliament.

“This will put the EU on track for climate neutrality by 2050 and for meeting its Paris Agreement obligations,” she said.

“I recognise that this increase from 40 to 55 percent is too much for some, and not enough for others… But the 2030 target is ambitious, achievable, and beneficial for Europe,” she noted.

According to von der Leyen, by next summer the Commission will revise all of the EU’s climate and energy legislation to make it “fit for 55”.

The European Commission’s new target is backed by large economies including France and Germany, but will still face resistance from countries that are still way off the target. EU leaders will discuss the new target at their summit next month.

The chief of the EU’s executive arm also said that 30 percent of spending from the 750-billion-euro recovery plan to restart the European economies following the pandemic will be earmarked for climate-friendly projects and financed through the proposed green bonds. (1 euro = 1.19 U.S. dollars)