EU unveils recommendations for 2040 climate target

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The European Union unveils its ambitious climate agenda, but decisive actions are needed to make it a success.

This European Union unveiled its recommendation for the 2040 climate target and the industrial carbon management strategy this week. The EU is committed to achieving economy-wide climate neutrality by 2050 to limit global warming to 1.5 °C and is implementing a comprehensive policy framework to reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2030. The commission has now laid out the groundwork for the EU’s climate ambition for the next decade.

In a communique released on 6 February 2024, the EU stated: “Achieving the necessary targets and weaning off our reliance on fossil fuels requires decisive climate action across all sectors of the economy. An EU industrial carbon management strategy is in itself an essential complement to the mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that is necessary in the first place. As a global frontrunner, the EU has the opportunity to create an economic edge in industrial carbon management technologies providing global business opportunities.

“Industrial carbon management can help to decarbonise production processes in industrial sectors that are important for the European economy, complementing other decarbonisation efforts. Industrial carbon management is therefore a sound and important building block for a sustainable and competitive economy in Europe.”

Responding to the announcement, the European Federation of Engineering Consultancy Associations (EFCA) said: “EFCA fully supports the EU’s ambitious climate agenda. However, to ensure we meet and exceed our objectives, we must take decisive actions.

“We need to uphold momentum on the green agenda to sustain existing sustainability-focused business models. Prioritise infrastructure investments to avoid long-term risks and hamper sustainability efforts. Advocate for robust support and integration of CCU/S technologies within climate strategies to achieve EU climate targets and also emphasise the importance of enhanced research and development in alternative construction materials to mitigate dependency risks and advance decarbonisation efforts.”

EFCA also issued the following five-point statement following the EU’s announcement.

  1. EFCA supports the EU’s ambitious 2040 climate target, which aims for a 90% net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction compared to 1990 levels. Recognising the urgent need to safeguard our planet and preserve people’s livelihoods, EFCA emphasises the critical importance of pursuing an unwavering climate agenda.
  2. Maintaining momentum on the green agenda is crucial. Any regression in environmental commitments would jeopardise existing business models built around sustainability principles.
  3. Investments in infrastructure need to be prioritised. Neglecting infrastructure maintenance and development in the long term poses significant risks and could undermine sustainability efforts.
  4. Carbon Capture and Utilisation/Storage (CCU/S) is a fundamental component of realising the EU’s climate targets. Recognising the pivotal role of CCU/S technologies, EFCA advocates for robust support and integration of these solutions within climate strategies.
  5. Enhanced research and development into alternative construction materials is essential to alleviate dependency risks and sustain the EU’s industry amid material shortages and price hikes, critical for advancing decarbonisation efforts.

EFCA occupies a key role as a key stakeholder in shaping and implementing the European Union’s climate targets. It represents the engineering community, which will design and deliver the necessary infrastructure to facilitate the transition towards a sustainable and resilient future.

Soren Adamsen, EFCA vice president, said: “As the EU Commission publishes its communication on a 2040 climate target, we applaud the initiative and reaffirm our commitment to upholding ambitious climate objectives for sustainable development and economic resilience. Engineers play a crucial role in designing and implementing solutions to achieve these targets and we stand ready to contribute our expertise in driving the necessary transitions.”

Click here to view the European Commission’s paper, Towards an ambitious Industrial Carbon Management for the EU.

Click here to download the EFCA statement paper, EU Industrial Carbon Management Strategy in view of 2040 Climate Target.