European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has confirmed plans to target a 55% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 as part of a broader European Green Deal programme aimed at reaching “climate neutrality” by mid-century, according to a report on EurActiv.com
“For us, the 2030 target is ambitious, it’s achievable and it is beneficial for Europe,” von der Leyen said as she unveiled the EU’s new climate proposals before the European Parliament in her first State of the Union address since she became Commission President in 2019.
“We can do it!” she said, coining a famous phrase used by German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the height of the 2015 migration crisis.
“Our impact assessment clearly shows that our economy and industry can manage this,” she continued, whilst outlining the progress already made – a reduction in emissions by 25% since 1990 during a period of sustained economic growth.
Von der Leyen’s optimism is borne from technological advances and the fact that Europe now has the expertise and the financial firepower necessary to make it happen, with a €1.8 trillion EU budget and recovery fund that was agreed by EU leaders in July for the years 2021-2027.
“We are world leaders in green finance, and we are the largest issuer of green bonds worldwide,” von der Leyen pointed out, announcing that 30% of the EU’s €750 billion recovery fund will be raised through green bonds.
“We have it all. Now it’s our responsibility to implement it and to make it happen,” she added, telling Parliamentarians: “This is our mission”.