The German presidency of the EU Council aims for a recovery fuelled by renewables, but there is disagreement among member states over key climate targets
Germany’s energy and climate ambitions appear to be increasingly aligned with those of the European Green Deal, but the country faces the challenge of convincing more reluctant member states before the end of its six-month presidency of the Council of the EU in December.
Berlin is hoping to conclude negotiations on a climate law that will legally enshrine the bloc’s 2050 climate-neutrality ambition and raise the emission reduction target for 2030 from the current 40pc below 1990 levels to 50-55pc. The file is a key priority for the presidency, but reaching an agreement may prove challenging.
“The European Parliament is working flat out on the climate law, while EU governments are still at the beginning of the discussion,” says Michael Bloss, a German MEP and shadow rapporteur for the file. The economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic may further distract national governments from committing to longer-term green initiatives, with a looming no-deal Brexit potentially wreaking further havoc on Berlin’s political agenda.”The European Parliament is working flat out on the climate law, while EU governments are still at the beginning of the discussion” Bloss, European Parliament
Beyond Germany, 12 other member states, predominantly in western Europe, appear to favour a 55pc target for 2030. But some coal-reliant central and eastern European countries are more reluctant—with Poland potentially set to repeat its vote against the otherwise-unanimous 2050 climate-neutrality goal in the European Council last December.
Divisions among member states on the technologies for reducing emissions are also likely to resurface, with some pushing for the inclusion of nuclear power and gas. A letter to the European Commission from Bulgaria, Romania and the Visegrad Four (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) called for its climate target plan and associated impact assessment “to not exclude any technologies that might be used to reach the target”.