Climate Change & EU’s Plan

Published: December 23, 2019

The talks in Madrid to define rules of a new carbon market to be set under the Paris Agreement resulted in a failure. It was not able persuade countries to increase scale of climate actions after scientific assessments show that the current efforts to tackle climate change were not enough.

In this context, the European Union, who is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and US, announced additional measures it would adopt on climate change. It is being called the European Green Deal. Its key decisions include, achieving climate neutrality. EU promises to bring a law to ensure all member countries become climate neutral by 2050. Climate neutrality refers to the state of net zero emission which is achieved when a country’s emissions and absorption’s of greenhouse gases is balanced. Absorption can be increased by creating carbon sinks and using technologies like carbon capture and storage.

EU has become the first major emitter to agree to the 2050 climate neutrality target. EU’s second decision pertains to an increase in its 2030 emission reduction target. The EU has promised to reduce its emissions from 40 percent to 55 percent compared to 1990 levels. EU also looks to retain the 1990 baseline for emission cuts which had originally been mandated under the Kyoto Protocol for developed countries.

However, the EU has not been fulfilling all its climate obligations. The Kyoto Protocol required rich and developed countries to provide finance & technology to the developing countries . However, there has been a little flow of money, especially from the EU. This is the reason why developing countries like India and China have been repeatedly raising the issue of unfulfilled obligations of developed countries.

The Green Deal is important yet inadequate in itself to achieve the emission reductions. There has been no signal from the other big emitters which even include developing countries like China and India.

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