News Local EU leaders sign up to carbon net-zero goal by 2050; Cyprus set...

EU leaders sign up to carbon net-zero goal by 2050; Cyprus set to sign

Germany has joined a growing number of EU nations to back going carbon neutral by mid-century, EU documents show, building momentum for the bloc’s leaders to agree the ambitious climate goal at a summit this week.

Divisions remain among the bloc’s 28 governments over the long-term net-zero emissions target, with many concerned a steeper pace of reductions could hurt competitiveness and cost jobs in high-employment sectors.

U.N. negotiators hope the gathering of EU heads of state – the last before global climate talks in September – will show commitment to the 2015 Paris pact to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Appointments to EU jobs will top the summit agenda, but Europe’s Green group is expected to have a greater say in the process after mounting public worries over global warming propelled them to their strongest showing in last month’s European Parliament elections.

Despite a push by eight nations for greater climate ambition – Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden – early summit draft conclusions stopped short of the pledge to balance out emissions from burning fossil fuels and those absorbed by forests and other carbon sinks.

Germany, mindful of the country’s powerful car industry, has been hesitant to back the 2050 target, which is seen as opening the door for the bloc to reassess its 2030 goal.

But Berlin has changed tack, according to summit documents seen by Reuters, endorsing “work on the conditions, the incentives and the enabling framework to be put in place to support the fair transition to a climate-neutral EU by 2050”.

It is calling for the discussion among EU leaders to focus on how to achieve such a goal, while paying heed to competitiveness and social justice issues.

Cyprus, Malta, Slovenia, Italy, Austria and Greece are also set to sign on, while Britain announced last week it would enshrine a 2050 climate neutrality target into law.

However, a group of eastern European nations, including Poland and Bulgaria, are reluctant to back deeper emissions cuts without provisions that take account of the difficulties of transforming economies heavily reliant on coal and energy-intensive industries.

The European Parliament overwhelmingly voted in favour of the mid-century target in a non-binding resolution earlier this year.

EU’s climate chief Miguel Arias Canete says laws passed since the Paris accord, from curbs on car pollution to renewable power and energy saving, has put the bloc on track to overshoot its current target of a 40% cuts from 1990 levels by 2030.

Climate campaigners, however, say action so far is not consistent with the transformative change scientists say is needed to avert the most extreme weather, rising sea levels and the loss of plant and animal species.

To achieve net negative emissions, the world’s largest economic bloc will have to invest more in carbon capture, electrification and alternatives to fossil fuels but also encourage consumers to change their habits, EU modelling shows.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Nicosia: 17 fined €300 each for holding house party

Despite tough lock down measures, including a ban on house gatherings except for actual residents, Nicosia police last night broke up a house party...

UK coronavirus deaths could reach 7,000 to 20,000 – Ferguson

UK deaths from the coronavirus could rise to between about 7,000 and 20,000 under measures taken to slow the spread of the virus, Neil...

CBC instructs banks not to compound interest during loan repayment moratorium

A general implementation on loan repayments will not be considered as restructuring and the banks are not to assess a possible loss in the...

India curbs diagnostic testing kit exports as virus spreads

India is restricting the export of most diagnostic testing kits, as coronavirus cases in the South Asian nation topped 3,350 on Sunday despite a...

Limassol: Five arrested after 2.3 kilos of cocaine seized

Limassol police have arrested four men and one woman after seizing 2.3 kilos of cocaine sent from Greece with a courier service. The men are...

Taste

Village olive pie

Mix the yeast with the lukewarm water and put it aside for about 12-15 minutes to settle.  Sift the flour with the salt into...

Skordalia (Garlic paste)

Rinse the potatoes and place, unpeeled, in a saucepan. Cover with water, add salt and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes until soft. Drain,...

Village salad

A must-have with every meal is a village salad. You will find it in every tavern or greek restaurant you visit in Cyprus. Make...

Courgettes with eggs

Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the courgettes at a medium heat until they soften. Add salt and add the eggs....