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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: New EU climate bill 'dismal, unambitious, falls short' - environmentalists




Lisbon, April 21,2021(Lusa)– The European Union on Wednesday reached agreement on a Climate Bill, which was welcomed by political leaders, notably the Portuguese presidency of the European Union Council, but environmental organisations talk of a " dismal" and "unambitious" law.
The provisional political agreement legislates the goal of EU carbon neutrality in 2050, with a reduction of greenhouse gases of at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990.
Portuguese Environment and Climate Action Minister João Pedro Matos Fernandes said he was satisfied with the agreement and said the European Climate Act, the "law of laws", sets the framework for EU climate legislation for the next 30 years.
However, the Portuguese environmental organisations ANP/WWF and Zero do not share the same enthusiasm and regret that the agreement did not go beyond a 55% reduction.
The agreement reached today "reflects the political struggle and not the science. The net target of a 55 per cent reduction is well below the science and the position of the European Parliament", stresses Associação Natureza Portugal (ANP), associated to the international organisation "World Wide Fund for Nature" (WWF).
In a statement issued by ANP/WWF and WWF's European Policy Office, they state that the agreed law, which will be taken to the climate summit being organised by the US on Thursday and Friday, is "heartbreaking and will do little to combat the planetary crisis".
The agreement to reduce net emissions (of greenhouse gases) by at least 55 per cent is "well below the 65 per cent that science says is needed" and the European Parliament's position of 60 per cent, says the association.
ANP/WWF considers it positive that the EU Climate Act establishes a European Scientific Advisory Council on Climate Change, but regrets that the European Parliament failed to secure many of its key demands, such as phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, or requiring all member states to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Zero, also in a statement, says the EU remains one of the leading blocks in the fight against climate change, "but falls short", and that the agreement on the Act reached today does not deliver "what could have been an ambitious climate governance framework, including a strong emissions reduction target for 2030".
The Portuguese Presidency "deserves applause" for having managed to finalise the negotiations before the US summit, but failed "to overcome the blockage of several countries that prevented greater ambition", and does not bring additional emission reductions to those already agreed last December, Zero says, also recalling the European Parliament's objective of a 60% target.
"Note that the emissions reduction target of 'at least 55% for 2030' is not in line with the Paris Agreement's ambition to limit temperature increase to 1.5°C, as only a 65% reduction between 1990 and 2030 can lead us to that path," warns Zero, which also welcomes the creation of a Scientific Advisory Board.
With the European deal coming on the eve of a summit convened by US President Joe Biden, the head of climate at WWF's European policy office, Imke Lübbeke, says that "the valiant attempts by the EU Parliament to rescue an unambitious 2030 target from the Commission and get commitments from the EU Council were in vain. The EU may try to congratulate itself on President Biden's conference, but the reality is that it is not responding adequately to what science shows we need to do over the next decade to stop climate change getting out of control."
FP/AYLS // AYLS
Lusa


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2021-04-22 10:45:00







 

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