Chapter News

“If we want to be at peace with nature, we need to chase carbon from our business model,” says President Michel

In his speech at the Leaders’ Summit on Climate hosted by US President Joe Biden on 22 April, European Council President Charles Michel highlighted the EU’s leadership in fighting climate change and its binding target of 55% emissions reduction by 2030. He also stressed the need for a global approach to carbon pricing and urged all developed countries to scale up their contributions to climate finance.

A global approach to carbon pricing is paramount to promoting green investment. If we want to be at peace with nature, we need to chase carbon from our business model.

President Charles Michel

Leaders’ Summit on Climate, 22 April 2021

The objective of this virtual summit was to underscore the urgency – and the economic benefits – of stronger climate action. It was a milestone on the road to the UN climate change conference (COP26) this November in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

The EU was represented by European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The heads of state or government of EU member states Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain also attended the event.

EU leaders underlined Europe’s leadership in the fight against climate change which is reinforced by the recent provisional agreement on the EU climate law, paving the way for the continent to become climate neutral by 2050. They sought to convince their international partners to commit to similarly ambitious targets.

This summit was another opportunity to stimulate global efforts to keep the Paris Agreement goal of seeking to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach. The summit highlighted examples of how enhanced climate ambition will create good-paying jobs, advance innovative technologies, and help vulnerable countries adapt to climate impacts.

The summit date was chosen so as to fall on Earth Day, a global annual event on 22 April to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

The EU – a leader in the fight against climate change

In line with its international commitments under the Paris Agreement, the EU set itself a series of ambitious goals in the past years.

Achieving climate neutrality by 2050

In December 2019, the European Council endorsed the objective of achieving a climate-neutral EU by 2050. In their conclusions, EU leaders asked the Council to take forward the work on the European Green Deal launched by the European Commission.

At least 55% emissions reduction by 2030

Last December, the European Council agreed on a binding EU target of a net domestic reduction of at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990.

On 21 April, the Council and the Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the European climate law which includes the 2030 target. The law will make the EU’s climate goals a legal obligation, setting the path for the EU to reach its 2050 climate neutrality goal.

Compliments of the European Council.