EU adopts climate change targets for Paris conference (Update)

March 6, 2015
The EU formally adopted climate change targets for December's Paris conference including a 40 percent cut in emissions by 2030

The EU formally adopted on Friday climate change targets for December's Paris conference including a 40 percent cut in emissions by 2030, climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said.

The targets were agreed on by leaders of the 28 European Union member states at a summit in October, but the confirmed benchmarks have now been officially sent to the UN, Canete said.

"There is an agreement, but it was not an easy matter," Canete said after a meeting of EU environment ministers in Brussels.

French minister Segolene Royal added: "Europe is the first continent to send its contribution, as was asked by the United Nations."

The offer of the EU, which is responsible for nine percent of global emissions of greenhouse gases, was sent to the UN secretariat, Canete said.

Negotiators told AFP that Ireland fought successfully to have the carbon removed by forests and farmland included in the calculation of greenhouse gas reduction—which critics said made it easier to reach the 40 percent target by four or five percent.

"By avoiding a decision to treat emissions and removals from the land use sector separately and on top of the EU's 'at least' 40 percent domestic target, the EU wastes important political capital to set incentives for other countries to be transparent on the amount of emission reductions they will achieve," Carbon Market Watch Director Eva Filzmoser said in a statement.

French Environment Minister Segolene Royal (L) speaks with European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, on March 6, 2015

Countries, which are tasked with trying to limit the rise in global temperatures to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels, have until March 31 to announce their commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The EU, which when taken together is the world's biggest economy, says it will cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent compared to 1990 levels.

The United States, which accounts for 12 percent of global emissions, announced its intention to reduce them by 26-28 percent in 2025 compared with their level in 2005.

China, which accounts for 25 percent of global emissions, has set a target date of about 2030 for its emissions to peak.

Explore further: Switzerland 1st country to submit pledge for UN climate pact

Related Stories

Emissions drop puts EU just shy of 2020 goal

October 28, 2014

The European Union's environment agency says the bloc's greenhouse gas emissions dropped by nearly 2 percent last year, putting the EU very close to reaching its emissions target for 2020.

US, China, EU carbon pledges better not enough: report

December 8, 2014

New plans by the United States, China, and European Union to curb carbon emissions would yield global warming of about three degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit), a better-than-predicted but still unsafe level, a report ...

UN climate chief tempers expectations on Paris deal

February 5, 2015

(AP)—Tempering expectations on a global climate deal in Paris this year, the U.N.'s top climate diplomat on Thursday warned against assuming the pact will suffice to prevent dangerous levels of warming.

Recommended for you

Scientists solve mystery of unexplained 'bright nights'

June 21, 2017

Dating back to the first century, scientists, philosophers and reporters have noted the occasional occurrence of "bright nights," when an unexplained glow in the night sky lets observers see distant mountains, read a newspaper ...

New research leverages big data to predict severe weather

June 21, 2017

Every year, severe weather endangers millions of people and causes billions of dollars in damage worldwide. But new research from Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and AccuWeather has found ...

Measuring biological dust in the wind

June 21, 2017

In the popular children's story "Horton Hears a Who!" author Dr. Seuss tells of a gentle and protective elephant who stumbles upon a speck of dust that harbors a community of microscopic creatures called the Whos living the ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 06, 2015
Poco a poco.
1 / 5 (1) Mar 06, 2015
WIth regard to the effects of average global temperature change: http://imgs.xkcd....rees.png

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.