3 november 2019

[4C Note: We received the following document in an email from Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network-Europe. ]


One scenario of the timeline for increasing the EU's NDC/2030 climate target

The proposal of Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen to develop a European Green Deal as a first priority of the new European Commission offers interesting opportunities, but its value will have to be judged by the level it is able to urgently tackle the climate emergency in a fair and sustainable way. CAN Europe will assess the Green Deal proposals against (a) its own Urgency Plan, (b) the 2020 timeline to increase the EU's 2030 target and (c) on the value of the specific elements of the deal. Below a theoretically feasible timeline for increasing the EU's 2030 target.

The below timeline represents one of the (few) scenarios that would allow the EU to ensure its fulfils its commitments made in Paris, to deliver a new NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution, or 2030 target) by 2020. It indicates would could happen in a consecutive series of proposals and decisions, and thus shows that the time for action is short and needs serious engagement from all involved. Now.

December 2019: Launch Just Transition Fund

The new European Commission, in its first days, launches a proposal for a Just Transition Fund, largely based on the proposals made by the European Parliament . The Fund could or could not be sourced from future Cohesion Policy funding only, or could also have additional resources, such as from auctioning a share of the free allowances for the aviation industry.

December 2019: Climate Neutrality by 2050 adopted

The European Council, meeting on 12th and 13th, adopts the proposed Long-Term Strategic Climate Vision to achieve EU climate neutrality by 2050 as well as the headlines of the proposed Just Transition Fund, and requests the Commission and the Environment Council to translate this Climate Vision into a Long-Term Low Greenhouse Gas Emissions Development Strategy to be submitted to the UN by 2020 and to start developing a proposal for the review/enhancement of the EU's National Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement, while also discussing but not yet agreeing the proposed future EU budget (MFF).

March 2020: European Green Deal and NDC proposed

The European Commission, as part of its European Green Deal, presents a proposal to increase the EU's Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC or 2030 climate target), including an Impact Assessment for emission reductions of 50%, 55% and 65% which also takes into account the costs of inaction. This proposal will indicate the needed changes to existing targets in the ETS, ESR, LULUCF, Energy Efficiency and Renewables legislation.

Furthermore the Commission will also present both the Long-Term Strategy and a Climate Law based on the Strategic Vision to achieve Climate Neutrality by 2050.

June 2020: 2030 climate target adopted

The European Council (18th and 19th) adopts the proposed NDC enhancement of up to 55% greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2030, and also adopts the overall size of the 2021-2027 EU budget, possibly containing increased commitments from richer EU Member States.

September: EU-China Summit Declaration

All EU Heads of State and Government and the Chinese President publish a joint statement indicating new targets for 2030 greenhouse gas emission reductions that both countries have agreed to commit to. This statement will be based on the June European Council conclusions and the commitments the Chinese government is preparing in a similar timeframe.

October 2020: Proposals for new Climate and Energy Legislation

The European Commission presents a range of amendments to the relevant climate and energy legislation, in particular the ETS Directive, the Effort Sharing Regulation, the LULUCF Regulation, the Renewable Energy Directive and the Energy Efficiency Directive, adapting the targets in these pieces of legislation to the newly increased ambition. The discussion about the need to revise the energy targets will go in parallel with the discussion on increasing the climate target.

November 2020: COP26

The European Union and China, having delivered their ambition contributions in time can both play a leadership role in the negotiations at COP26 in Glasgow.

2021 (-2020)

The Council and the European Parliament finalise negotiations on the sectoral legislation as well as on the Climate Law, which offers opportunities to further increase the level of ambition in the short- and long-term on the overall and sectoral targets.

CAN Europe's 160+ member organisations represent over 1.500 NGOs and more than 40 million Europeans
(November 2019 -

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