Advancing the debate on setting post-2030 EU climate targets

14. 03. 2023
AUTHOR: Linda Kalcher

While it was initially designed as a policy framework to mitigate climate change, the Green Deal has ended up offering a wide range of solutions for economic recovery from the COVID pandemic and the unprovoked Russian war on Ukraine.

As the EU institutions are finalising laws to implement the 2030 climate and energy goals, the first formal Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement is approaching at the end of the year. This is likely to create a seamless transition from the focus on 2030 to the political choices that define the decarbonisation trajectory for 2035 and 2040.

Strategic Perspectives recommends starting the discussion on the new 2035 and 2040 climate goals in autumn this year, with a view to reaching an agreement under the Belgian Presidency at the latest in June 2024. Commission President von der Leyen’s State of the Union speech on 13 September provides an ideal opportunity to make the new goals part of her legacy.

Strategic Perspectives recommends that the European Commission also provides the following elements in its publications on 2035 and 2040:

  1. a detailed overview of ambitious electrification pathways,
  2. the quantities of zero-carbon technologies required to substitute fossil fuels,
  3. critical materials and components needed along the value chain.
Strategic Perspectives recommends a new approach to economic cooperation that is at eye level with partners.

A wide range of countries are seeking to advance their own transitions and can benefit from the EU’s knowledge, policy frameworks and cooperation agreements. Growing green economies allows the creation of jobs in other countries  as well as exports for the EU markets. Such partnerships are more successful if they benefit both economies alike, respect the needs of partner countries and are in line with respective decarbonisation trajectories.

Following Strategic Perspectives’ recommendations on setting post-2030 climate targets puts the EU in a prime position to address the domestic concerns about the competitiveness of its industry and the diversification of supply chains, while strengthening its role as credible international climate leader.