The EU must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90 by

The EU must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2040

The European Union is expected to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 90% over the next decade, compared to 1990. This puts the EU on a safe path towards its goal of climate neutrality by 2050, according to a draft document of the Commission's strategy on climate policy after 2030. The draft, which in some places still contains XXX instead of hard numbers, is available to the FAZ before. The commission wants to officially present this next week. So far, the EU has decided to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030. The EU would have to significantly increase its efforts by 2040.


The recommendation is based on the analysis of three scenarios: an 80 percent reduction, an 85 to 90 percent reduction and a 90 to 95 percent reduction. The latter is the only objective with which the EU can meet its Paris Climate Protocol commitments, according to the newspaper. The goal is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial era. The longer climate protection is delayed, the greater the human and economic costs of climate change will be, he continues.

Criticism comes from the European Parliament

The Commission emphasizes that the prerequisite for a 90 to 95 percent reduction is the rapid dissemination of new technologies, such as green hydrogen and the separation, storage and use of CO2 between 2031 and 2040, especially in industry. The objective has the positive side effect of the EU further reducing its dependence on fossil fuels and thus becoming less vulnerable to price shocks. This will also free up money that can flow into infrastructure expansion, innovation, training and other areas that are important for the EU's competitiveness.

Compared to the second scenario, a reduction of 85 to 90 percent, requires slightly higher investments and more raw materials. However, this will be offset by savings in the decade 2041 to 2050. This also gives the EU an advantage in the international competition for the green technology of the future. The draft still leaves open how high the actual costs will be. He estimates that savings from reducing fossil fuel imports will amount to 2.8 billion euros between 2031 and 2050 towards the 90 percent target.

To reach the 90 percent target, i.e. the lower limit of the Commission's preferred scenario, the EU must completely decarbonise electricity supply by 2045, if possible. The share of electricity in total energy consumption will double from 25 to 50 percent by 2040. 90% of this amount will come from renewable sources, “complemented by nuclear energy”, he states. The remaining 10 percent would have to be achieved, namely, through CO2 separation and storage (CCS). Overall, capacities will need to be significantly expanded so that 300 million tonnes of CO2 can be separated annually by 2040. The Commission places particular emphasis on reducing emissions in the transport and agriculture sectors.

The criticism comes from the European Parliament. “The proposal is at the lower end of what is scientifically necessary,” said Rep. Michael Bloss. Instead of relying entirely on cheap energy from sun and wind, the Commission proposes gas and coal-fired power plants equipped with “zombie CO2 capture”.