Europe’s Game-Changing Climate Action Commitment

The 6% Solution to the Climate Crisis

In this issue of Need to Know  I spent Saturday at the United Nation’s Climate Ambition Summit 2020. It was a virtual event to mark the five-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement on climate change. I’m happy to report there was a game-changing announcement.

When the Paris Climate Agreement was signed December 12, 2015, I wrote an article that said, with some sarcasm: ‘The Paris Agreement is a historic plan for at least 3.0 degrees C of warming’.  To be clear, 3.0C would be disastrous for much of humanity, but that is what countries’ Paris commitments to cut CO2 emissions would result in. That’s a long way from their agreement to keep the heating of our atmosphere to “well below 2.0C”. 

When challenged about this huge gap, many countries said they would have plans to improve their CO2 reduction efforts by 2020.  

Well, 2020 is nearly over, and most countries haven’t put in the effort to meet their original Paris reduction pledges, never mind improving their plans. Four countries have submitted plans to improve their reduction targets. Today’s big need-to-know is that one of those ‘countries’ has the potential to be a climate-action game changer: the European Union (EU).

The EU, a 27-member country union, just made a legal commitment to cut its CO2 levels at least 55% below 1990 levels by 2030. Equally significant is the United Kingdom new pledge to cut emissions by 68% by 2030. And then there’s Denmark; Europe’s largest oil and gas producer. They’ve announced a phase out of all oil and gas production by 2050 and legally committed to a 70% reduction below 1990 levels by 2030.

All fossil-fuel producing countries need to phase out their production by 2050 said the Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen at the UN Climate Ambition Summit 2020

“We made a promise in Paris. The children of the world are depending on us to keep that promise,” said Frederiksen.

To read more go to Need to Know: Science and Insight.