EU ‘likely’ to miss most of its key 2030 green targets, report warns

European Union chiefs have been dealt a crushing blow after the publication of a damning new report which suggests the bloc is poised to miss most of its 2030 green objectives.

The analysis, published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today, considers the EU’s 8th Environment Action Programme, which is intended to guide environmental policy to the end of the decade, and which came into force on May 2, 2022. Building on the European Green Deal, approved in 2020, it aims “to speed up the transition to a climate-neutral, resource-efficient economy”.

However, the EEA’s report will make grim reading for European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and her colleagues, concluding that in multiple areas, the EU is either “likely” or “very likely” to miss its targets. In terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from land use, land-use change and forestry, for instance, and energy consumption, there is little prospect of success, the report warns.

The outlook is also bleak in terms of the bloc’s aim of legally protecting at least 30 percent of the EU’s land and sea areas by 2030, the report warns. The aim of having 25 percent of EU agricultural land organically farmed by 2030 is also remote.

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The report focuses on a total of 28 main pledges, and the EU is only on track (“very likely” to succeed) with five of them, and “likely but uncertain” in three more. It is “unlikely but uncertain” to succeed in 15 other areas, and ‘very unlikely” to succeed in five more.

Referring to the bloc’s Land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF) strategy, the report warns: “The latest Member State projections based on the current and planned policies and measures fall quite short of the target, while the past 10-year trend is mostly going in the wrong direction and will have to be reversed. Both the emission reduction and LULUCF targets are ambitious and have been agreed upon recently.

“Member States are still in the process of updating their National Energy and Climate Plans; in that context, they are continuing to develop policies and measures to close the gap between current projection levels and the target. Strengthened policies and measures would need to address all socio-economic sectors for the targets to be met.”

In terms of energy consumption within the EU27 countries, the EEA’s report warns: “In the remaining years to 2030, the average annual pace of reduction seen in the past 10 years will have to be three times faster to meet the primary energy consumption target, and nine times faster to meet the legally binding final energy consumption target.”

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