05.03.2019_No45 / News in Brief

Finland Wants EU To Aim For Zero Carbon Footprint By 2050

Policies & Politics

5 Mar (NucNet): Finland wants the European Union to agree to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050, the country’s environment minister Kimmo Tiilikainen said on Monday as the bloc’s ministers met to discuss a climate protection plan.

Reuters reported that Finland, which will take over the EU’s rotating presidency in the second half of 2019, has called for leadership in combating climate change after US president Donald Trump decided to pull out of a global deal agreed in Paris in 2015.

That deal aims to keep global warming well below 2C compared to pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5C.

The EU executive proposed last year that the bloc aims for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The EU’s statistical office Eurostat estimates the EU-28’s carbon footprint at 7.1 tonnes per person in 2016. Eurostat said the carbon footprint of the EU-28 measures how much CO2 was emitted due to EU-28's demand for products.

“The European Union must align our climate and energy policy according to the 1.5-degree target. That means that the EU must achieve carbon neutrality by 2050,” Mr Tiilikainen told reporters.

The idea is backed by countries like Sweden, France and the Netherlands, but opposed by other EU states, including Germany and Poland, which want to protect high-employment industries like car manufacturing and coal mining.

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