THURSDAY, JANUARY 7TH, 2021.-
The most important climate priority this semester of the Portuguese presidency in the Council of the European Union is to set a final target for reducing EU CO2 emissions by 2030, Portugal's Environment Minister Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes said on Thursday.
🖊 EFE VERDE 📸 EPA/LEGNAN KOULA
"If I had to choose only one (priority), it's the passage of climate law (...) We will begin this January the real negotiation with Europarlamento," Matos Fernandes said during a virtual presentation by the Portuguese Council Presidency for European correspondents.
After adopting a political emission reduction target by 2030 of "at least 55%", the Council, the Commission and the European Parliament will have to negotiate the final legal text throughout 2021.
CO2 emissions cut
Both the European Commission and the Council want a reduction of "at least 55%" of CO2 emission cuts at the end of the decade, compared to the current target of reducing them by 40% from 1990 values. The European Parliament, for its part, is calling for a reduction of 60%.
"Even if there are differences with the Council's positions, which is almost the same as that of the Commission (...), it is such an important thing that I am sure that during this semester the climate law will be passed," added the Portuguese minister, who stressed that the three EU lawmakers agree on "the overall objective."
Matos Fernandes brazenly stressed that an effort will be made, as requested by the Eurochamber, to make future climate targets legally binding on each Member State and not on the EU as a whole.
"The commitment is European (...) When we say that Europe will be climate-neutral by 2050 we say that Europe will be, not that it will be for every country."
However, not to mention a particular state such as Poland, Hungary or Slovakia, the most climate-reticent, he noted that he is sure that almost all countries will achieve that goal except one that "may" is still far removed from the energy transition.
Asked about environmental policy in the United States, Matos Fernandes stated that he has had no news there, but recalled that US President-elect Joe Biden pledged to have the U.S. return to the Paris Agreement from which Donald Trump withdrew the country. EFEverde