EU Leaders Said To Delay Decision On 2030 Carbon Target
European Union leaders intend next month to agree on a timeline for developing energy and climate targets for 2030, delaying a final decision on the polices, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
Most governments in the 28-nation bloc need more time to reconcile differences over a proposal by the EU’s regulatory arm calling for tighter emissions restrictions and an overhaul of renewable energy policies by 2030, said the people, who asked not to be identified because of policies against speaking publicly. EU presidents and prime ministers will debate the issue in Brussels for the first time on March 20 and may back setting a deadline for a decision later this year, they said.
The delay may be a setback for the global effort to fight climate change and for United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who is convening world leaders on Sept. 23 to set out ways to curb fossil fuel emissions. The EU has for decades been at the forefront of that process, and hesitation on its part may remove a spur for the U.S. and China to act.
“It’s very important that EU leaders set a time horizon in March for endorsement of the commission’s proposal — that’s a signal that Europe must send globally,” said Tomas Wyns, a researcher at the Institute of European Studies at the Brussels Free University. “Hopefully that will be June. Otherwise it may only be October or at the end of the year.”
Before the EU summit in March, governments are scheduled to discuss the commission’s proposal at a gathering of competition ministers on Feb. 20, with environment ministers on March 3, and energy ministers the next day, according to Greece, which holds the bloc’s rotating presidency.
Heads of state will probably give political guidance on the matter through the European Council, said a presidency official, who asked not to be identified because of communication policy rules. The official declined to comment on the possible outcome of the March meeting.