Macron accuses EU leaders of falling short on climate goals

European Union leaders failed to do enough on Friday to pursue a pledge to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 under the Paris climate agreement, French President Emmanuel Macron said after the summit, dedicated mainly to Brexit.

Leaders meeting in Brussels agreed to discuss the issue again at their next gathering in June, ahead of a UN summit on climate change in the fall, news wires reported. The delay frustrated environmental campaigners, who argue that the EU should lead global efforts to meet the 2015 Paris accord’s most ambitious target of keeping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

“Today, we are not giving a clear answer to the commitments we made in Paris in 2015, to the scientific challenges pointed out by the best experts, and to the legitimate impatience that youngsters are expressing in demonstrations every week in our capitals,” Macron said after the summit. “We will need to wake up, but we have not really seen that yet.”

In announcing its bid to strive for climate neutrality, or zero carbon emissions, the EU leaders said they were "taking into account member states’ specificities and the competitiveness of European industry."This appeared to refer Poland's concerns about protecting an economy heavily reliant on coal and Germany's concerns to keep its economy competitiveness.

Hundreds of thousands of students in cities around the world by school strikes urged leaders to tackle climate change.

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