EU countries want emissions targets to stay linked to wealth -document

by Reuters
Tuesday, 11 May 2021 12:58 GMT

Airline tycoon Richard Branson (L) and former U.S. vice-president Al Gore hold a globe in central London February 9, 2007. REUTERS Kieran Doherty

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Bloc looks set to keep rules requiring wealthier nations make deeper emissions cuts

By Kate Abnett

BRUSSELS, May 11 (Reuters) - European Union countries will ask the European Commission to keep national emissions targets linked to their levels of wealth as it crafts plans to overhaul EU climate policies, according to a draft document.

The 27 EU government leaders will hold a summit on May 24-25 to discuss how they plan to meet the EU's new 2030 climate goal - a cut in net emissions of at least 55% from 1990 levels.

The summit will give a steer to the European Commission, which in July will propose a huge package of climate policies to deliver the target, including carbon market reforms and more ambitious renewable energy objectives.

A draft of the climate conclusions for the summit, seen by Reuters, would see EU leaders call for the bloc to keep its current system of setting binding national targets to cut emissions in some sectors based on countries' GDP per capita.

"The European Council reaffirms the need to maintain national targets under the Effort Sharing Regulation and to preserve its broad scope to stimulate effective measures at national level," the document said, referring to the meeting of EU leaders, known as the European Council.

"The distribution of efforts among member states should be based on the criteria of the existing Effort Sharing Regulation," the draft said.

The so-called effort-sharing regulation sets each EU country a 2030 target to cut emissions in sectors not covered by the EU carbon market. Those sectors, including road transport and heating in buildings, produce roughly 60% of total EU emissions.

The targets are based on a country's GDP per capita, meaning poorer states face weaker goals. Sweden and Luxembourg must cut effort-sharing emissions 40% by 2030, while Bulgaria is required to simply not increase them.

The national targets need upgrading to meet the EU's new climate goal - a fraught political issue of particular interest to central and eastern European states concerned by the economic impact of tougher climate goals. (Reporting by Kate Abnett Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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