On 28 November 2018, the European Commission presented its strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate-neutral economy by 2050. The strategy opens a thorough debate involving European decision-makers and citizens at large as to how Europe should prepare itself towards a 2050 horizon and the subsequent submission of the European long-term Strategy to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change by 2020.

The Commission looked into eight pathways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Two pathways would enable greenhouse gas neutrality and “1,5 C degree” ambition by 2050. The Commission’s analysis is informed by a detailed modelling of pathways across all sectors of the economy. These pathways are “what if-scenarios” and plausible options to achieve a climate neutral Europe.

Between 1990 and 2016, greenhouse gas emissions in EU were reduced by 22% while GDP grew by 54%. The net-zero transition is projected to stimulate growth and jobs, with beneficial GDP impacts up to 2% by 2050 on top of existing air pollution measures to reduce pre-mature deaths caused by fine particulate matter by more than 40% and health damages by around € 200 billion per annum.

The proposed Strategy does not intend to revise 2030 targets to reduce emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 but when the agreed EU legislation is fully implemented, total greenhouse gas emission reductions are estimated to reach around 45% by 2030.

The European Commission invites the European Council, the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee to consider the EU vision for a climate neutral Europe by 2050. In order to prepare EU Heads of State and Government for shaping the Future of Europe at the European Council on 9 May 2019 in Sibiu, ministers in all relevant Council formations should hold extensive policy debates on the contribution of their respective policy areas to the overall vision.

The strategy illustrates that new, ambitious climate targets are achievable and the signatories urge European Council, the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee and EU Heads of State and Government EU leaders to:

  • Set a target for achieving net-zero emissions at the latest by 2050 or earlier taking the IPCC findings into account.
  • Based on the target, to agree on a binding carbon budget for the remaining GHG emissions.
  • To revise and align the 2030 and 2040 targets with the net-zero target.

More information

Jouni Keronen, Executive Director, Climate Leadership Coalition, jouni.keronen@clc.fi +358 50 4534881

Nina Ekelund, Executive Director, Haga Initiative, nina.ekelund@hagainitiativet.se +46735022464

Jarl Krausing, International Director, CONCITO, jk@concito.dk +45 29896600

Jon Evang, Communications Mngr, Zero Emission Resource Organisation, jon.evang@zero.no +4793401382