Brussels optimist: Limiting temperature rise to two degrees is still possible | Abroad

Climate SummitLimiting the global temperature rise to two degrees or just below is still possible. Then as many countries as possible should follow Europe’s lead and rapidly reduce their CO2 reductions.

This is what EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Climate Commissioner Frans Timmermans said on the eve of COP26, the two-week annual climate summit for nearly 200 countries that begins on Monday in Glasgow. Europe wants to throw all its weight into it to clean it up quickly, especially the countries with high carbon dioxide emissions today.

“At this summit, we have a duty to secure our planet for future generations,” von der Leyen said. Timmermans: “Only by working together can we secure the future of humanity on this planet.”

Sources in Brussels have estimated that the prospects for success have grown exponentially since the change of power in the United States. There has been no business related to former president and climate denier Donald Trump. It is expected with his successor Biden.

general support

Europe has also invested a lot in its relationship with China. Also positive is the rapidly growing popular support, which is reflected both in opinion polls and in discussions with citizens at the conference on the future of Europe, which has been going on for several months.

The truth that gives hope is the reduction in temperature rise that has already been realized on paper. While it looked like the world was still heading around 4 degrees in 2014, that could already be limited to 2.7 degrees that is still dangerous. Provided that all countries fulfill their promises 100 per cent.

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Amer power plant in Gertrudeenberg, where coal and biomass are burned. Dutch greenhouse gas emissions will likely be higher in 2021, as a result of which climate targets will not be met. © Rob Engelar

In many countries there is enough “space” to eat there. This is the big question: will there be enough Commitments To get as low as two degrees and preferably as close as possible to 1.5,” says von der Leyen. This weekend’s G-20 summit in Rome wants to use it to pave the way. The 20 nations sitting around the table are responsible for 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions We still need to make big cuts in this decade. The G20 must pave the way for Glasgow.”


Von der Leyen immediately announced several initiatives before the climate summit, along with US President Biden. The first is to reduce methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030. “Methane is eighty times more harmful to the climate than carbon dioxide, so the gains can be made quickly here. This is a hanging fruit,” says von der Leyen.

It also wants a new fund for planting forests, and has already set aside a billion for this — “tropical forests are an important ally in the fight against climate change” — and an initiative to help poor countries in an accelerated phase-out of carbon dioxide.

According to von der Leyen and Timmermans, Europe is well positioned to put pressure on other Glasgow countries. While the economy has grown by 60 percent over the years, Europe has already reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 31 percent compared to 1990. Now everything is on the table to limit those emissions to “at least” 55 percent by 2030, On the way to zero emissions by 2050. Von der Leyen: In Glasgow, I will encourage other world leaders to do the same: innovate and invest in a new, more sustainable growth strategy.”

The more than six hundred actions of our country’s initial climate agreement are likely to fall short of the government’s goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 49 percent by 2030:

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