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EU Commission clashes with Parliament over ‘net’ 2030 climate target


Lawmakers have denounced a “loophole” in the European Commission’s proposed climate target for 2030 and pointed the finger at the EU executive for its hard negotiation style over the EU climate law.

MEPs from across the political spectrum turned up the heat on Frans Timmermans, the executive vice-president of the European Commission, during a heated exchange of views with the bloc’s climate chief on Thursday (4 March).

Lawmakers raised concerns about the Commission’s “net” greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030, which includes carbon removals from agriculture, land use and forestry – so-called “carbon sinks”.

Carbon sinks weren’t included in the EU’s previous climate objectives, something which MEPs said creates a loophole meaning the actual greenhouse gas reductions will be lower than the 55% advertised by the EU executive.

“I must say that we have serious doubts about the nature of the Commission’s proposed net target for 2030,” said Jytte Guteland, a Swedish MEP from the socialists and democrats who is the Parliament’s rapporteur on the 2030 proposal.

“The Commission’s own impact assessment makes clear that there is in fact no certainty how big this will be and what the reduction will be for 2030 with this net approach, so it could be under the ‘at least 55%’,” Guteland said.

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