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Carbon Market Watch response to the EC inception impact assessment for the 2030 Climate Target Plan

As the EU is a signatory to the Paris Agreement (PA), the 2030 Climate Target Plan should live up to the EU’s commitment to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C. Moreover, we remind the Commission that the European implementation of the PA has to reflect equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. These principles, as enshrined in Article 2 of the PA, will need to be developed in more detail in the impact assessment by identifying remaining atmospheric carbon budgets, and giving an indication of how the EU intends to meet its fair share of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions by 2030, and every 5 years thereafter, in line with the 1.5°C limit.   

The IPCC report on Global Warming of 1.5°C has shown that ignoring this temperature threshold, entails severe additional risks to the global ecosystem and increases the chances of hitting systemic tipping points that could spiral global heating out of control. The UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2019 makes clear that global GHG pollution needs to be reduced by 7.6% per year, starting now, in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C. This directly correlates with an EU climate target of at least 65% by 2030. The impact assessment must therefore also consider emission reduction pathways beyond 55% by 2030 and an overall goal of climate neutrality by 2040 to keep the 1.5°C goal attainable. 

Carbon Market Watch underlines that the EU should aim for 65% GHG reductions by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2040 as the more responsible targets and fully in line with the ‘do no harm’ principle. Any legislation to implement these goals should include the ‘no backsliding’ principle of not falling behind on previous commitments, in order to ensure progressive climate commitments over time.

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