LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) -European Union ministers began talks on Monday to approve new laws to fight climate change, but diplomatic sources said economic pressures could prompt efforts to water down some of the EU’s most ambitious proposals.
EU energy ministers will also discuss options to collectively reduce demand for natural gas as the European Commission prepares to present a plan next month to coordinate steps for further cuts to supply from Russia.
“For industry we have to present a coordinated approach,” EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson said on her arrival at the meeting in Luxembourg, referring to measures to curb gas demand, adding that citizens would be “protected consumers” shielded from such curbs.
Energy ministers meet on Monday followed by environment ministers the following day.
They aim to agree common positions on proposed laws to meet a 2030 target to cut net emissions by 55% from 1990 levels.
The laws would expand renewable energy, revamp the EU carbon market and ban sales of new cars running on fossil fuels from 2035.