7 February 2024

European Commission recommends 90% emissions reduction by 2040

The Commission has published an impact assessment on possible pathways to reach climate neutrality by 2050.

© Christian Lue/unsplash

It recommends a 90% net greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2040 compared to 1990 level, setting out a number of enabling policy conditions.

The starting point is 'full implementation of the existing legislation to reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2030'. 

The Commission states that the Green Deal now needs to become an 'industrial decarbonisation deal' that builds on existing industrial strengths, like wind power, hydropower and electrolysers, and continues to increase domestic manufacturing capacity in growth sectors like batteries, electric vehicles, heat pumps, solar PV, carbon capture and storage, biogas and biomethane, and the circular economy.

Carbon pricing and access to finance are also considered 'critical'. The Commission will set up a dedicated taskforce on carbon pricing and carbon markets.

The Industrial Alliance on Small Modular Reactors that has been launched is the latest initiative to 'enhance industrial competitiveness and ensure a strong EU supply chain and a skilled workforce'. 

While the EU's Industrial Carbon Management strategy will support the development of CO2 supply chains and the required CO2 transport infrastructure. The Commission says, 'Carbon capture should be targeted to hard-to-abate sectors where alternatives are less economically viable. Carbon removals will also be needed to generate negative emissions after 2050.'

'Europe will also need to mobilise the right mix of private and public sector investment,' the Commission says. 'A European approach on finance will be needed in the coming years, in close cooperation with Member States'.

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