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On 17 September 2020, the European Commission presented its plan to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, up from the 40% goal agreed in 2014. This level of ambition for the next decade should put the EU on a balanced pathway to reaching climate neutrality by 2050.

The legislative proposals to implement the new target should be presented by June 2021 and include revising and expanding the EU Emissions Trading System; adapting the Effort Sharing Regulation and the framework for land use emissions; reinforcing energy efficiency and renewable energy policies; and strengthening CO2 standards for road vehicles.

The new 2030 climate target should help to focus Europe’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. It will stimulate investments in a resource-efficient economy, promoting innovation in clean technology, fostering competitiveness and creating green jobs. Member States can draw on the €750 billion NextGenerationEU recovery fund and the EU’s next long-term budget to make these investments in the green transition. To support the necessary investments, the Commission has also adopted the rules for a new EU Renewable Energy Financing Mechanism, to make it easier for Member States to work together to finance and deploy renewable energy projects.