Brussels – After the publication of a landmark report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), EU heads of government meeting in Brussels recognised the need for stronger climate action to meet the Paris Agreement. The report exposes the inadequacy of current European emission-reduction targets to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Lignite Digger Near Hambach ForestRWE Bagger im Braunkohletagebau Hambach

Greenpeace EU climate and energy policy director Tara Connolly said: “In the face of the overwhelming scientific evidence and this summer’s extreme weather, European heads of government have collectively acknowledged the need for more action to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Climate change is already happening, but a strong political response can avoid a total breakdown affecting millions of people and wiping out entire ecosystems. High EU climate targets for 2030 and a commitment to a carbon-neutral Europe by 2040 can limit temperature rise and send a strong signal to the world that the EU means business.”

At a public session during a meeting of environment ministers in Luxembourg on 9 October, 15 European environment ministers called on the EU to increase its targets to cut carbon emissions in line with the recommendations of UN climate scientists [1].

On 10 October, members of the European Parliament’s environment committee called for the EU to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest and increase the EU 2030 climate target to meet the Paris Agreement. The full plenary of the Parliament is expected to vote on this resolution on Monday, 22 October.

The European Commission is expected to release its draft long-term climate strategy for 2050 on 28 November, just ahead of a UN climate conference that will take place in Katowice, Poland, in December 2018. EU governments are expected to agree on the final EU strategy in 2019.


[1] The countries are: Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Greece, Portugal, Finland, Cyprus, Denmark, Slovenia and Luxembourg.


Tara Connolly – Greenpeace EU climate and energy policy director: +32 (0)477 790416,

Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911,

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