European parliament votes for 60% cut in emissions

07 October, 2020

By ECCT staff writers

Members of the European parliament voted in favour of backing an EU-wide 2030 emissions reduction target of 60% (compared to 1990 levels). The target is higher than the “at least 55%” proposed by the European Commission in September. It also strips out any carbon offsetting, as MEPs want to put pressure on European member states to embrace tougher greenhouse gas targets as part of the promise to reach climate neutrality by 2050.


The vote was won by a slim majority of 27 votes, splitting the parliament’s major groups and revived a politically sensitive debate about how far and how fast Europe should move towards net-zero emissions. Those opposed to the 60% target include the European People’s Party, the largest group in the parliament and the political family of commission president Ursula von der Leyen. The EPP is supporting the 55% goal.

The 2030 target, the most immediate and most politically contentious emissions milestone has become a rallying point both for those arguing for more ambitious carbon emission cuts as well as those who fear the pace of the green transition will damage jobs and industry in the short-run.


Europe’s member states will face a similar battle in the weeks ahead as they decide their respective position on the 2030 target. Following the European parliament’s lead, Denmark and Finland have said they will push for at least 60% in negotiations but resistance is expected in parts of central and eastern Europe. 

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