US climate target of 50% / Good, that other parts of the world engage, but the targets need to be looked at in perspective and Europe should not hide its light under a bushel

Ahead of the climate summit lead by the US President Joe Biden with participation of the leading economies, the environmental spokesperson of the biggest political group in the European Parliament (EPP Christian Democrats) Dr. Peter Liese insisted not to underestimate the commitment that the European institution have agreed on early Wednesday morning in the climate law.

“Europe was the first continent that formally agreed to climate neutrality in a law and our target for 2030 is really ambitious. Together with colleagues from all the major parties in the European Parliament I sent a letter to the US administration to push them for a -50% target based on 2005. It is reported that President Biden now finally announced this target. This is really ambitious, because unfortunately Donald Trump and his policy meant a major back clash for climate policy in the United States.

If you compare it to the European target however, it is not ambitious at all, because if you compare the US target to 1990 it’s only about 43% (see below). On top of that it has to be respected, that the United States have much more per capita emissions then the European Union, that’s why further reductions are more challenging in Europe than in the United States. It is also very important, that China will increase climate ambition. Their announcement to be carbon neutral by 2060 is positive, but it’s probably too late if we want to achieve the Paris targets. Carbon neutrality does not mean climate neutrality because there are other emissions like methane that are more difficult to control. It is very important, that China peaks its emission before 2030. So Greens and NGOs, instead of criticizing the perceived low ambition in Europe and praising the developments in other parts of the world, should join the European Union institutions in pushing others for more ambition now”, says Liese.