Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has threatened to veto Europe’s goal of becoming the first climate neutral continent in the world by 2050, adding his voice to a growing chorus of discontent as EU leaders prepare for heated climate discussions at a summit in Brussels next week.
“People, planet and partnerships” will be the three pillars of the European Commission’s energy policy in the next five years, said Kadri Simson, the EU’s recently-appointed Energy Commissioner, announcing a “massive renovation wave” to tackle energy poverty.
European Union leaders meeting in Brussels next week will push to agree to put the bloc on net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, their draft joint statement showed on Monday (2 December), heralding a bitter fight looming at their gathering.
Europe faces environmental challenges “of unprecedented scale and urgency,” according to a comprehensive overview of air, land and water ecosystems published on Wednesday (4 December) by the European Environment Agency.
The incoming European Commission of Ursula von der Leyen is preparing a raft of new climate and environmental laws as part of a European Green Deal due to be unveiled on 11 December. EURACTIV got hold of a first draft, which is still subject to change.
The European Parliament voted by a large majority on Thursday (28 November) in favour of a resolution declaring climate emergency in Europe, piling pressure on the EU’s new Commission to deliver an ambitious European Green Deal after it takes office next month.
As Europe moves towards net-zero emissions, policymakers are looking at all available sources of energy, including new low-carbon gases like hydrogen, to decarbonise at least cost. But direct electrification – of transport, industry and buildings – remains the top priority for the European Commission.
The new President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, cited climate policy as the most pressing issue facing her new executive team, which was officially confirmed by a vote in the European Parliament on Wednesday (27 November).
Temperatures can be expected to rise by 3.2C this century under current national pledges, threatening to bringing "wide-ranging and destructive climate impacts,” international climate experts warned on Tuesday (26 November).
Green lawmakers in the European Parliament have lashed out against a draft motion tabled by centrist MEPs that suggested declaring a climate emergency in Europe, tabling their own motion in response to what they denounced as a “PR-stunt”.