Europe wants to be the first climate-neutral continent in the world

At the Leaders Summit on Climate, EC President von der Leyen called on strengthening global unity around ambitious new goals

Photo: EU Ursula von der Leyen.

During her speech at the Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by US President Joe Biden on Thursday, EC President Ursula von der Leyen called on strengthening global unity around ambitious new goals, “because this will be the ‘make or break' decade for our climate”.

The head of the EU Commission also said that the Paris Agreement is “humanity's life insurance”. At the COP26 in Glasgow, we must show that we all have understood this and that we are ready for more climate action, she stressed.

Von der Leyen explained as well that “we are getting dangerously close to 1.5 degrees of global warming and science tells us it is not too late yet, but we must hurry up”.

“Yesterday, we agreed Europe's first ever Climate Law with the European Parliament and our 27 governments, as Angela Merkel mentioned. With this, we write into stone the goal set out by the European Green Deal – to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050.”

We also have agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and in June, my Commission will table proposals to make Europe ‘Fit for 55', the EC President stated.

“We will make emission trading work – not only for energy generation and industry – but also for transport and for buildings. Carbon must have its price – because nature cannot pay the price any longer.”

She also accented that ‘Fit for 55' is not just about emissions. “We will safeguard our nature and enhance biodiversity, going for nature-based solutions wherever possible. And we will ensure that all this is done in a just and inclusive way. Because for our ambition to succeed, we must leave nobody behind.”

Saying that climate action is also a massive opportunity for our economies and creates new markets she added that it mobilises investment in new and transforming industries. “This is why 30% of Europe's Recovery Plan – NextGenerationEU, altogether €1.8tn, is earmarked for climate-related goals.”

The fight against climate change will be the engine for our global recovery and will be our compass for cooperation with all of you in many areas, EC President underlined. She asserted that Europe wants to be the first climate-neutral continent in the world.

“Let us set together a new global benchmark for climate neutrality. Let us work together on a shared commitment and joint action for reducing emissions by 2030. This puts us on a pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050. That is what our planet needs.”

Von der Leyen thanked Joe Biden that “the US is back on our side in the fight against climate change”. “Together, we can go faster and get further. Together, we will win the future.”

 

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