EU Sets Ambitious 2040 Climate Target and Highlights Need for Carbon Removals

Feb 6, 2024

Key take-aways:

  • Today, the European Commission announced its recommendation for a 2040 climate target.
  • The plan includes a 90% net reduction of GHG emissions from 1990 levels by 2040, and expresses a clear need for carbon dioxide removal (CDR).
  • This proposal by the Commission marks the beginning of a new era for climate policy mandating durable CDR, and signals a need to rapidly scale up the entire carbon removal sector.
  • The newly released Industrial Carbon Management Strategy also points to a need for both large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon removal.

Today, the EU Commission announced its 2040 climate target recommendation. The plan includes a 90% net reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2040, and implies a proposal for 10% carbon dioxide removal (CDR). CDR is further separated between industrial (including direct air capture & storage) and land-based, with the proposal calling for total carbon removal quantities of up to 400Mt of CO₂.

Climeworks welcomes the EU Commission’s effort to set a firm climate target for 2040, and it is particularly positive to note the inclusion of carbon removals within the target-setting. Climeworks especially welcomes the European Commission’s ambition for a 90% reduction, as it aligns with climate science and feedback provided by the European Scientific Advisory Board, as well as Climeworks’ and the Negative Emissions Platform’s recommendations during the open consultation phase.

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