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Europe's ambitious emissions reduction target 'realistic and doable'

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-09-18 10:36
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European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans talks during a joint press conference with EU Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson (unseen) on the EU's climate ambition for 2030 at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Sept 17, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

BRUSSELS - Europe must lead the way to a green recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic and it must get it right, Frans Timmermans, European Commission Executive Vice President in charge of climate action, said on Thursday.

As chief of the European Union (EU) responsible for the Green Deal and the first European Climate Law, Timmermans said the new EU target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 was "doable" and "achievable" if everyone put in their fair share of effort to reach the target.

Presenting the Climate Target Plan at a press conference, he said this level of ambition will put the EU on the right path to reaching climate neutrality by 2050.

The new plan unveils the path towards the ambitious target, with carbon pricing and stronger CO2 standards for transport at the core, according to Timmermans.

Boasting the EU Emissions Trading System as a "proven, effective tool to bring down emissions," Timmermans said the Commission will look at expanding the mechanism to road transport and buildings.

Timmermans replied to media questions that he understood those who expected the target to be even more ambitious but insisted that the impact assessment showed that the EU was on the right track with its proposal.

Stressing that the proposed 55 percent target was set following a thorough assessment of the social, economic and environmental impacts, he said the target is realistic and feasible.

He said Europeans will have to rebuild the economies in the aftermath of the pandemic but at the same time continue to fight climate change.

Timmermans said the Commission has tabled an amendment to the proposed European Climate Law, to include the 2030 emissions reduction target. It also sets out the legislative proposals to be presented by June 2021 to implement the new target.

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