: EU Climate Chief: U.S. and Europe Need to Tackle Climate Change Together #WorldNEWS A few short months before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Commission, the executive body of the
EU Climate Chief: U.S. and Europe Need to Tackle Climate Change Together #WorldNEWS
A few short months before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, announced an ambitious initiative to tackle climate change that would transform every sector of the economy. The so-called Green Deal aims to cut Europes emissions 55% in the next decade, putting the bloc on course to eliminate emissions entirely by 2050.
Frans Timmermans, an executive vice president of the Commission, has been tasked with overseeing the sweeping transformation. In a wide-ranging Sept. 20 interview ahead of a trip to Washington, Timmermans called for a reinvention and reinvigoration of US-EU ties to address climate change and other 21st century threats. “Only if we reinvent our transatlantic relationship in light of todays and tomorrows challenges can we come out of this in a way that is in line with our fundamental values,” he said.
Timmermans visit to the U. S. comes as countries are gearing up for a landmark United Nations climate conference scheduled to take place in Glasgow in early November. Countries are coming forward with their own new commitments to cut domestic emissions. Leaders in the U. S. , EU and elsewhere hope those plans will put the world on a trajectory to keep temperatures from rising more than 1. 5°C, a level that scientists warn could bring some of the most devastating effects of climate change.
Timmermans called on the U. S. government to provide details about its plan to cut the nations carbon output by more than 50% from 2005 levels in the next decade and eliminate it entirely by 2050. The Biden Administration has yet to lay out many of the details about how it intends to do that, and much hinges on legislation under consideration in a deeply divided Congress.
By contrast, the EU rolled out a detailed plan this summer that touches everything from emissions in housing to the transition toward electric vehicles. “What weve done in Europe is make a plan,” Timmermans said. “And thats what I would like to work on with my American friends: make a plan. If you want to be carbon neutral by 2050, where do you need to be in 2040? Where do you need to be in 2030? And what does that mean for the next couple of years?”
Timmermans cited cutting domestic fossil fuel subsidies as one area where the US should lay out concrete plans. Internationally, he said he hopes to hear more details about how the U. S. plans to address imports of high-carbon goods from places that aren’t taking aggressive steps to tackle climate change. As part of the Green Deal package, Timmermans is overseeing the implementation of a mechanism that will tax such imports so that the blocs aggressive climate moves dont drive manufacturing to countries with weak climate policy—a phenomenon known as carbon leakage.
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