Dec 13, 2019

Europe's big climate deal exempts coal-reliant Poland

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Leaders of the EU endorsed a plan Friday to make the bloc a net-zero carbon emitter by mid-century, according to a slew of reports from their meeting in Brussels.

Yes, but: Coal-reliant Poland, which balked at the target, is currently exempted from the agreement.

  • The official summit statement, according to several stories, notes: "One Member State, at this stage, cannot commit to implement this objective as far as it is concerned, and the European Council will come back to this in June 2020."

The state of play: The deal is a "historic move that sets in motion a radical overhaul of the continent’s economy," Bloomberg reports. They add that it creates "political momentum" for the climate policy proposals that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen laid out this week.

What's next: Per Reuters, "Von der Leyen said the Brussels summit deal, reached in the wee hours of Friday by 27 national EU leaders, was enough for the commission to start rolling out concrete climate legislative proposals for the bloc next year based on the 2050 goal."

Where it stands: Some more on the negotiations via the BBC ...

  • "Several eastern European countries wanted financial and other guarantees before they agreed to the EU cutting to zero its net amount of greenhouse gas emissions."
  • "The Czech Republic and Hungary were brought on board after assurances that nuclear energy could be included in the final mix."

Quick take: Targets are ... just that. The bigger question is whether the continent can successfully develop and implement the array of policies that together will actually bring steep emissions cuts.

Go deeper: Europe's "Green Deal" shows the hard road to U.S. carbon emissions cuts

Go deeper

Europe's climate hawks split with U.S. vision on Green New Deal

European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen. Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

An interesting Bloomberg piece compares the European Union's newly unveiled climate proposals with the Green New Deal that's in vogue in American progressive circles on the left.

The intrigue: There's a lot there, but at one point the authors wonder whether the multitopic focus of the Green New Deal — which tackles health care, job and wage guarantees — will make it tougher to implement than the European Green Deal.

Go deeperArrowDec 17, 2019

European ambassador hits U.S. on climate change

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The European Union’s ambassador to the U.S., Stavros Lambrinidis, is criticizing America’s outsized impact on climate change, increasing tension between two allies that are already oceans apart on this problem.

Why it matters: The comments, made to reporters Thursday afternoon in Washington, come a week after the bloc said it may impose financial penalties on imports from nations that are less aggressive on climate change as part of its broader European Green Deal plan to curb emissions.

Go deeperArrowDec 20, 2019

Mike Bloomberg releases his first domestic climate plan

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Democratic White House hopeful Mike Bloomberg would aim to cut economy-wide U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and implement policies that would make 80% of power generation zero-carbon by 2028.

Why it matters: Those are two key targets in broadly worded plans unveiled Friday that mark the first detailed domestic climate proposals from the billionaire's campaign, and follow his years of advocacy on the topic.

Go deeperArrowDec 13, 2019