The European Commission's "preferred option" for the EU's 2040 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target is 90-95pc — from 1990 levels — according to a draft document.
In a draft impact assessment of options for the EU's 2040 climate targets, the commission recommends a 90-95pc GHG cut compared with 1990 levels over two other considered scenarios, which would have led to cuts of 75-80pc — the linear trajectory between its existing 2030 and 2050 targets — or 85-90pc cuts, in line with the current policy framework.
The EU already has a legally-binding GHG emissions reduction target of at least 55pc by 2030, from the same baseline, although estimates show it is likely to cut emissions by around 57pc by that date. The bloc also has a legally-binding target of net zero GHG emissions by 2050.
The commission is obligated, under the bloc's climate law, to propose an EU-wide 2040 climate target within six months of the global stocktake. The first global stocktake, mandated as five-yearly under the Paris accord, concluded at the UN Cop 28 climate summit in December 2023.
The impact assessment document, which was compiled over 2023, points out that the cost of "unmitigated climate change will greatly exceed the cost of reducing GHG emissions". "Conservative" estimates of "global damage from climate change could reach 10-12pc of GDP [gross domestic product] by the end of the century", the document noted.
The commission is expected to publish documents setting out possible options for the bloc's 2040 climate targets next month, ahead of a formal meeting of EU environment ministers in Brussels on 25 March. Legal proposals, to bring the bloc's laws into line with new targets, would only be presented at the earliest in 2025 by the commission, which will be reconstituted following EU elections in June. argusmedia
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