Shifting gears: achieving climate neutrality by 2050

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Climate & Energy

Is the EU executing the decisive gear-shift that is needed to not only meet its own ambitious climate targets and agree on its vision for climate neutrality by 2050, but to successfully lead the way globally?

Experts gathered at the Friends of Europe debate ‘Shifting gears: achieving climate neutrality by 2050’ – held in Brussels on 19 February – to assess where Europe is at, what it needs to do, where it’s going and whether it will arrive on time.

Moderator and Director of Insights at Friends of Europe, Dharmendra Kanani said that with a new Commission in place and its ambitions stated via the European Green Deal, the imminent unveiling of the new European Climate Law, the assessment of member states’ National Energy and Climate Plans, and the COP26 coming up in Glasgow in November, it’s an interesting time for the climate agenda that has a “last chance saloon” feeling about it.

“Everyone is really thinking of Glasgow as the tipping point that we should look forward to – but should it be, can it be, given all the different drivers that are at play, not least politics?” he said, adding that the constant re-negotiation of targets was delaying action.

Participants heard perspectives from the International Energy Agency, the private sector’s Electricité de France (EDF), the European Commission Directorate-General for Energy, and Climate Action Network Europe.

There was agreement that more needed to be done to create the conditions for consumers to more easily transition to renewable energy sources, and that Europe – which accounts for 9% of global CO2 emissions – must use its ambition to take an assertive leading role in getting other countries on board with tackling the climate emergency.

Shifting gears: achieving climate neutrality by 2050

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