BRUSSELS October 7 (Xinhua) – The European Parliament has shown support for a climate goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent by 2030 from 1990 levels, according to the results of the vote announced by Parliament on Wednesday.
In the vote in plenary late on Tuesday, the new target was approved with 352 votes in favor, 326 against and 18 abstentions, within the framework of voting changes to the proposed European Climate Act.
The target is more ambitious than that proposed by the European Commission, which proposes reducing emissions by at least 55% by 2030.
“We are more than ever a leader in climate ambition,” tweeted Parliament’s Environment Committee chairman Pascal Canfin, who tabled the specific amendment.
“This is a historic moment. This is a historic law. This is the great moment,” said Jytte Guteland, a Swedish Member of the European Parliament who was Parliament’s rapporteur for the proposed European Climate Act, at a press conference on Wednesday. after the disclosure of the voting results from the previous day.
The rapporteur said that Parliament was sending “a strong signal” to work faster towards climate neutrality, adding that the first ten years are crucial if the European Union (EU) is to respect the Paris Agreement.
Other important clauses that came to the vote on Tuesday afternoon were climate neutrality 2050 which became binding, continued work on carbon dioxide negativity after 2050, setting a greenhouse gas budget, setting a new target for 2040 after assessing and establishing a European Climate Change Council (ECCC).
The ECCC will complement the work of global and national similar bodies and evaluate progress at European level, says Guteland. Independent experts working with the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen will be recruited using data from EU countries to provide EU feedback on their progress.
The vote came three weeks after EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen set the target of a 55% emission reduction by 2030 in her speech on the state of the Union and two weeks after China announced its efforts to reach a CO2 emission peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality. before 2060.
“Do we have allies in this task? Yes, we have,” said Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic on Tuesday, speaking on behalf of von der Leyen, who at the time was in self-quarantine for caution against COVID-19. . In addition to China, Sefcovic also mentioned South Africa, which will aim for carbon dioxide neutrality by 2050.
Sefcovic sold the commission’s plans, saying the EU must retain its first relocation advantage. “We must increase our climate ambition if we want the best green technologies to be European technologies,” he added.
More voting meetings are planned later on Wednesday on the European Climate Act, which was originally proposed by the Commission in March this year. The EU Council has not yet taken its decision before the draft is finally adopted.