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Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance

The European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change, which was created by the European Climate Law of 2021, has recommended reducing EU greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 90 to 95%, compared to the emission levels of 1990, by 2040.

The report that produced this recommendation drew upon the latest scientific GHG emission scenarios, and also took into account fairness and feasibility, to look at how climate neutrality could be achieved in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The Board analysed more the one thousand EU emission pathways, identifying those that are aligned with the EU's goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050, and also limiting global warming to 1.5°C. The Board considered the feasibility of these scenarios, including the challenges of scaling up green technologies - such as solar photovoltaics, wind power, and hydrogen energy - in the short-term.

Professor Laura Diaz Anadon, Co-Vice Chair of the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change and Director of CEENRG, commented:

The recommended 2040 target requires us to act quickly, ensuring smooth transitions to address environmental risks and tackle the challenges of scaling up technology. There are multiple pathways to achieve climate neutrality, requiring careful and adaptive decision making to navigate various policy options. All these pathways can generate numerous other benefits, including significant improvements in health and enhanced energy security.

Read the full EU report: Scientific advice for the determination of an EU-wide 2040 climate target and a greenhouse gas budget for 2030–2050

Read EU press release: EU climate Advisory Board recommends ambitious 2040 climate target and urgent transitions for the European Union

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