EU climate goals: only a holistic approach can turn challenges into opportunities

2030  40% increases to 55%

The EESC reaffirms that reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 is the right choice. However, in its opinion Stepping up Europe's Climate Ambition, the EESC stresses the need to step up efforts on intermediate targets to speed up the process, or risk missing the goal of climate neutrality by 2050.

It is true that COVID-19 has brought with it tremendous economic problems. However, the redirection of investment towards the recovery plan has opened the door to a new strategy: "recovery spending combined with ambitious climate action", stressed EESC co-rapporteur Jan Dirx.

"This opinion also highlights the need to strengthen the bio-economy and to substitute fossil fuels, and, consequently, it is critical to give priority to updating European legislation on the transition to renewable fuels", emphasised EESC rapporteur Arnold Puech d'Alissac.

It is more essential than ever to make use of every possible tool to upscale the climate ambition: the Green Deal, the Climate Law, the MFF, the Next Generation EU recovery fund, the CAP, the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies, trade policies and agreements, etc. They all should be linked in a consistent manner, making sure the transition leaves no one behind.

Citizens are "crucial partners in the fight against climate change", and a pre-requisite for climate policy to be successful within the EU.

That is why the EESC has reiterated its proposal to create a European Climate Pact Stakeholder Platform, based on the principles of inclusiveness, transparency, and genuine participation and ownership by climate stakeholders at all levels. (mr)