EU Leaders Agree to Landmark 2030 Climate Deal
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The European Union on Friday agreed what it hailed as the world's "most ambitious" targets yet for cutting carbon emissions, but critics warned that pre-deal compromises had undermined the fight against climate change.
An overall 2030 target was agreed for the 28-nation bloc to cut its carbon emissions by at least 40 percent from levels seen in the benchmark year of 1990. An existing goal of a 20 percent cut by 2020 has already been nearly met.
"Deal! At least 40 percent emissions cut by 2030. World's most ambitious, cost-effective, fair EU 2030 climate energy policy agreed," EU president Herman Van Rompuy tweeted.
The talks in Brussels stretched into the wee hours of Friday as EU members sought to tweak the text to protect their varied economic interests, from Poland battling to save its coal industry to farmers seeking to continue grazing livestock that release polluting methane.
The EU members also agreed on 27 percent targets for renewable energy supply and efficiency gains, in spite of reservations from some member states about the cost of the measures, AFP reported.
The EU wanted to agree on the targets ahead of a summit in Paris in November and December 2015, where it is hoped the world will agree on a new phase of the Kyoto climate accords that run until 2020.
The agreement puts the EU "in the driving seat" ahead of the Paris conference, European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso said.
The European leaders bargained late into the night amid a split between richer, greener nations and poorer countries that still depend heavily on fossil fuels or on gas supplies from Russia.
Poland had previously threatened to veto a deal, fearing that its near complete reliance on coal would have made it prohibitively expensive for it to meet the EU targets.