Happy birthday, Paris Agreement!

11 December 2020

On the day, well night, of the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement member states have agreed on a revision of the EU 2030 climate targets. The current target of 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 was insufficient to reach the main goal of the EU becoming climate-neutral by 2050.

“As cities, we welcome the agreement founded to revise the EU 2030 climate targets even if we were aiming at even higher ambitious objectives,” says Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence and President of Eurocities.

Eurocities had hoped for an ambitious target of 60% reduction on greenhouse gas emissions at EU level by 2030 and of -55% at member state level. However, cities see the Council agreement of at least 55% emission reduction at EU level as a positive step forward. Cities are looking forward to the speeding up of negotiations on the EU Climate Law, hoping for a conclusive agreement by February 2021 under the Portuguese Presidency.

“There is no implementation of the fight against climate change without cities,” says Nardella, “now it’s the right time for leading cities to get the support they need to make Europe the first climate neutral continent.”

The agreement on the EU 2030 climate targets was reached after the Council settled the budget proposal, with Poland and Hungary withdrawing their veto. A welcome news that will avoid delaying making much needed resources available as the second wave of the pandemic continues to hit cities hard.

“We are glad that the council reached the agreement on the budget and that it will be available as planned,” says Nardella. “The COVID-19 pandemic has hit drastically cities all around the world and brought new health, economic and social challenges. All the European recovery plans need to focus on ‘building back better’ in line with the long term goal of the Paris Agreement.”