The European Union is set to kickstart discussions next week on how quickly to cut greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade. Well on course to meeting its current climate target for 2030, the EU now wants to make that goal even more ambitious, to get on track for its flagship plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
The Commission will propose a new 2030 emissions target next week, paving the way for talks between member states and European Parliament, which must approve the goal. There is consensus on the goals, but they are split over how ambitious they should be.
In a statement, the European Environment Agency recalled that air and noise pollution, the impact of climate change such as heatwaves, and exposure to dangerous chemicals cause ill health in Europe. Poor quality environments contribute to one in every eight of deaths, according to a major assessment on health and environment.
Improving the health and wellbeing of European citizens is more important than ever, with attention currently focused on addressing the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic provides a stark example of the complex links between the environment, our social systems, and our health.