The European Union should become carbon neutral by 2050. At least Frans Timmermans, the designated EU vice-president-president for climate protection, wants to present a bill. "I will propose a climate change bill within the first 100 days of my mandate," he said at his hearing in the European Parliament in Brussels.
Timmermans wants to begin immediately to develop more ambitious goals by the year 2030. "I will come up with a legislative proposal that will help us cut emissions by at least 50 percent, or even 55 percent," he said. The official target is currently 40 percent.
Asked whether he would actually recommend a reduction of 55 percent by 2030 with the Climate Protection Act, Timmermans evaded. Instead, he pointed out that further analysis on feasibility and impact should be completed first. Such a reduction would mean "drastic measures".
"Fighting Climate Change Does not Harm Economy"
Turning to concerns about the economy, Timmermans pointed out that the EU has already reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 22 percent compared to 1990, with economic growth up 58 percent. "We have shown that the fight against climate change does not hurt the European economy," he said. He does not want car-free Europe, but zero emissions cars.
Unclear Timmermans left what should be next to the neutrality goal in the Climate Protection Act. He still needs some time to see how far you can go, he says. It is clear, for example, that it will need additional measures for aviation and shipping.
The EU countries France, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Latvia and Luxembourg had recently set a goal for Timmermans to set a target of 55 percent by 2030 for EU emissions. Germany did not sign the 55 percent target letter.
That Timmermans gets the necessary approval from the European Parliament for his new position, was considered safe even before the beginning of the hearing on Tuesday night. As of November 1, he will be responsible for environmental and climate protection under the future EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.