China, Europe lead world leaders upping 2030 carbon goals

The European Union’s 27 member states on Friday managed to agree a 55 per cent cut in carbon emissions by 2030, using vaguely worded offerings of extra cash to overcome eastern European concerns that their coal-heavy economies would bear the brunt of the cost.

“Fifty-five per cent is Europe’s calling card,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the summit. The decision was “a go-ahead for scaling up climate action across our economy and society”.

Britain has targeted a 68 per cent cut in emissions by 2030, trying to lead from the front as it prepares to host the landmark UN COP26 summit in Glasgow next November.

Some 75 world leaders were said to be taking part in the weekend summit, from Afghanistan, Andorra and Argentina to Uruguay, Vanuatu and Zimbabwe. But Scott Morrison was denied a speaking slot after the UN judged his proposed pledge was not ambitious enough.

US President Donald Trump was a no-show, although co-host French President Emmanuel Macron said he looked forward to welcoming the United States back into the Paris climate agreement when President-elect Joe Biden takes office next month.

The US was instead represented by the Democratic Party’s Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, and the Republican Party’s Governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government would attempt to cut emissions from 2005 levels by 32 to 40 per cent in 10 years. The country’s carbon price would rise from $C15 ($16) a tonne in 2023 to $C170 by 2030.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan, which recently pledged to reach net-zero by 2050, said his country was “determined to lead the efforts” to decarbonise the world.


He promised to announce 2030 targets by the time of the COP26 summit, and pledged $US11.8 billion ($15.7 billion) of public and private investment into climate initiatives.

President Moon Jae-In of Korea, another Asian giant that recently embraced the 2050 net-zero target, also vowed to soon release a challenging 2030 ambition expressed in absolute terms.

No mung-bean munchers

Indian Prime Minister said its renewable energy capacity would increase 250 per cent to 450 gigawatts by 2030.

British Prime Minister , a summit co-host – who reportedly promised Mr Morrison a speaking slot but failed to deliver – said humanity had been “putting a toxic tea cosy of greenhouse gases” over the planet, but pulling this back would be of net benefit.

“We’re doing this not because we’re hair-shirt wearing, tree-hugging, mung-bean-munching eco-freaks … we’re doing it because we know that scientific advances will allow us, collectively as humanity, to save our planet and create millions of high-skilled jobs,” he told the summit.

There are few detailed policies to back up Mr Johnson’s promises, although on Saturday he said Britain would no longer use export finance, aid spending or trade promotion to benefit fossil-fuel energy projects.

In the past four years, such support amounted to £21 billion ($36.9 billion). Mr Johnson has also promised to phase out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and ramp up offshore wind energy generation.

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