The European Commission (EC) is raising its 2030 emission reduction target from 40% to 55%, to be accomplished by emphasizing the use of hydrogen and stressing the adoption of electric vehicles, Kallanish Energy reports.
In a speech delivered September 16 in Brussels, EC President Ursula von der Leyen said she has a mandate and a responsibility to push an increasingly carbon-neutral Europe.
“I recognize that this increase from 40% to 55% is too much for some, and not enough for others. But our impact assessment clearly shows that our economy and industry can manage this. And they want it too,” said von der Leyen.
“Just yesterday, 170 business leaders and investors – from SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) to some of the world’s biggest companies — wrote to me calling on Europe to set a target of at least 55%,” she added.
She noted that a holistic approach — tackling “everything from hazardous chemicals to deforestation to pollution” — will have as its cornerstone a 37% cut of the NextGenerationEU recovery funding slated explicitly for European Green Deal projects.
“We are world leaders in green finance and the largest issuer of green bonds worldwide. We are leading the way in developing a reliable EU Green Bond Standard. And I can today announce that we will set a target of 30% of NextGenerationEU’s €750 billion to be raised through green bonds,” added the EC President.
The leader also highlighted that NextGenerationEU should invest in lighthouse European projects with the biggest impact: “hydrogen, renovation and one million electric charging points.”
She used the example of Swedish steelmaker SSAB and its “unique” fossil-free steel pilot. The company started test operations, replacing coal with hydrogen to produce clean steel.
“This shows the potential of hydrogen to support our industry with a new, clean, license to operate. I want NextGenerationEU to create new European Hydrogen Valleys to modernize our industries, power our vehicles and bring new life to rural areas,” von der Leyen concluded.
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