“Our political commitment to becoming the first climate neutral continent by 2050 is now also a legal commitment. The Climate Law sets the EU on a green path for a generation,” said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen early Wednesday. Under the provisional deal reached after officials negotiated through the night, the EU also commits itself on an intermediate target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. “It was high time for the agreement, as Europe has to show where it stands in view of the positive developments in the USA and China,” said MEP Peter Liese, the negotiator for the EPP Christian Democrat group. The United States, the world's second-biggest polluter after China, is preparing to announce its new target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
The deal still needs to be officially approved by the member states and the legislature, but Wednesday's agreement should make that little more than a rubber stamp.