EU leaders disagreed on Tuesday (25 May) how to set new national emissions targets to reach climate neutrality by 2050 – with some countries complaining about uneven burden-sharing and different starting positions.

The debate comes ahead a new package of revised climate and energy laws, expected to be adopted by the European Commission in July.

The so-called ‘Fit for 55’ package, seen as a credibility test of Europe’s commitment to the Green Deal, refers to the alignment of EU key policy with the new 55-percent net emissions reduction by 2030. The EU’s previous target was 40 percent.

German chancellor Angela Merkel had said on arrival at the summit on Monday that member states would provide an “overview” over how they would reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

“This is not about decisions, but about preparations,” she said.

But the outcome of the physical summit of EU leaders in Brussels revealed member states are still partly divided on how to implement EU-wide climate goals.

The discussions led to the removal of some paragraphs from the climate conclusions, detailing upcoming effort-sharing rules, after some member states tried to include specific requests that could have limited the commission’s proposal.

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May 26, 2021