June 18, 2019 / 10:54 AM / 4 months ago

EU nations receive mixed scorecard on climate goals

BRUSSELS, June 18 (Reuters) - The European Union called on its members to accelerate efforts to meet 2030 climate goals after a review showed them on track to meet the overall emissions reduction goal but falling short of other specific targets.

As EU leaders debate whether to target going carbon neutral by 2050 at a summit later this week, the audit showed the 28-nation bloc on track to meet its headline pledge of cutting emissions by 40% by 2030.

However, the EU executive warned nations were falling short in some areas, including targets on energy saving and renewable energy use - a potential hurdle in the push by some states to ramp up the bloc’s long-term climate goals.

“Member States should collectively step up efforts to achieve the Union 2030 energy and climate goals, since continuation of existing policies at the same scale would not be sufficient to meet these targets,” the European Commission said, calling for more details in the final plans due by year-end.

The assessment will play into what is expected to be a difficult debate among EU leaders over how high to set climate ambitions.

U.N. negotiators and several EU nations are pushing for the bloc to show leadership ahead of global climate talks by increasing its goals.

But many governments worry doing so will hurt competitiveness and cost jobs, saying they should focus on meeting existing targets on reducing global warming emissions.

Tuesday’s preliminary review said the world’s largest economic bloc is falling short on reducing emissions in big employment sectors such as transport, farming and building that account for more than half of the EU’s total emissions.

Under current national draft plans, it said the EU is 2 percentage points short of its goal of cutting emissions by 30% compared to 2005 levels in such sectors outside the EU’s cap-and trade Emissions Trading System (ETS) regulating industry.

Only a few member states have proposed contributions high enough to meet targets on energy efficiency measures, according to the initial review.

The bloc is also short of its goals on solar, wind and other renewable energy use. Under current plans, the share of renewable energy is expected to be 1 to 2 percentage points under the 32% target as a share of total power in the bloc. (Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis; Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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