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Minister Mikkonen: New 2030 climate target timely – shows EU's strong commitment to climate action

Ministry of the Environment
11.12.2020 12.46
Press release

“The confirmation of the European Council to tighten the EU climate target came at an opportune moment - right on time to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Paris Climate Change Agreement tomorrow, and for the UN Climate Ambition Summit. Updated target shows to the world that we are consistently building a climate-neutral continent by 2050,” Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Krista Mikkonen says.

The European Council decided on the tighter emission reduction target on Friday morning, after negotiations that continued all through the night. By 2030 the EU will reduce the net emissions by 55% from the 1990 level. The earlier target was 40%. Finland considered that the target should be achieved through emission reductions only, but the final wording also takes the sinks into account.

Minister Mikkonen stresses that reducing the net emissions by 55% should be seen as the minimum target, and that the emission reduction measures both in the EU and nationally must be scaled so that the target will be exceeded clearly.

The next step is to update the EU climate and energy legislation in accordance with the new, tighter target. The Commission is expected to give the legislative proposals in summer 2021. During the spring 2021 the European Council will provide guidelines for the legislative amendments.

“We are at a turning point. Targeting the measures to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic to climate action is a historical opportunity to bring the world, Europe and Finland on a track that is in line with the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Boosting investments in clean solutions is an effective way to create new jobs and promote green growth,” Mikkonen says.

The new emission reduction target also represents the EU’s contribution to the Paris Climate Change Agreement. According to the Paris Agreement, all parties must update their emission reduction targets by the end of 2020, and the countries are hoped to make tighter climate commitments at the UN Climate Ambition Summit on Saturday. On 17 December the EU environment and climate ministers will meet in Brussels to finalise the EU’s submission to the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

Inquiries:

Riikka Yliluoma, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 295 250 091, [email protected]

Marjo Nummelin, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 250 227, [email protected]