EU environment ministers on Friday endorsed the bloc’s promise to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030, compared to Europe’s 1990 levels.
The target has to be achieved domestically rather than through offsets that allow member states to buy into carbon-cutting schemes outside Europe.
French Energy Minister Segolene Royal told reporters in Brussels: I think that Europe is facing up to its responsibilities. That it is aware that it is the source of a lot of greenhouse gas emissions since the start of the Industrial Revolution.
“It is also aware that it has the biggest responsibilities to face up to in order to get the rest of the world on board,” she said
The plan to cut Europe’s emissions levels was finally agreed by EU leaders back in October.
But Germany reckons there could be scope for even further negotiation.
“if other countries come up with more ambitious reduction plans, we will think again about even more ambitious measures,” said the country’s environment minister, Barbara Hendricks.
Privately, however, EU diplomats wonder just how the target will be achieved and the burden will be shared.
It is the bloc’s contribution to a UN conference set to be held in Paris later this, which hopes to strike a global deal on limiting emissions and slowing climate change.