Lighting for the climate – although more is needed

The night turned into a day before there was any brightening for the EU’s climate goals. The only question is whether “at least 55 percent” in emission reductions will be enough by 2030.

It was not until half past eight on Friday morning that word came that the 27 member states had decided on what would apply in ten years’ time, compared with how much was released in 1990.

– Today’s agreement clearly sets the course for climate neutrality in 2050. It secures the union for the future. All member states will benefit from it. The green hand will be our growth strategy, says European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at her press conference after the marathon meeting in Brussels.

The figure is as expected, but was tight when the leaders got stuck in detailed discussions during the night.

“Everyone has to say yes”

It is not so strange, thinks on the other hand Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (S).

– The countries have very large differences in the conditions. It makes a huge difference. Then it will be important with the wording, says the Prime Minister at a press conference with Swedish journalists.

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He and Sweden had wanted to go further, but still emphasizes that the alternative risked becoming a no – and that they would then be left with the current goal of a reduction in emissions of only 40 percent.

– This is how it is in the European Council (summit): everyone must agree, otherwise there will be nothing. Everyone has to say yes.

Hoping for more

The European Parliament’s responsible for climate goals, Swedish Member Jytte Guteland (S), welcomes the agreement.

– But 55 percent is not enough, she states at the same time to TT.

However, Guteland hopes to further his ambitions in the compromise negotiations that will now begin between the EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament.

Stefan Löfven also believes that time speaks for sharper goals.

– We are getting more and more into a momentum where more and more people see the benefit of this. This is not a burden. This is where we have the jobs of the future and the welfare of the future, says Löfven in Brussels.

Budget dispute

The summit in Brussels finally lasted for over 20 hours, since relations with Turkey, the corona situation and not least the battle over the next long-term budget also required considerable time.

Poland and Hungary have for several weeks blocked budget work after dissatisfaction with the new rules that other countries have pushed through regarding the requirement that everyone must comply with basic principles of the rule of law and democracy.

There is now an agreement which does not change the wording of the rules, but which clarifies when they are to be used and that a statement on its legality must be sought from the European Court of Justice.

Who got to back?

However, the joy of the budget is clouded by differing opinions about how it really went when the two countries finally said yes. Were Hungary and Poland the others to meet for fear of losing a lot of support? Or was it, on the contrary, the majority EU that bent down to get its budget and the gigantic corona support in place?

Stefan Löfven has his opinion clear.

– Hungary and Poland were forced to back down. They did so after an ultimatum was given to them: agree to this, otherwise we, the other Member States, will move on without you. This is a great victory for Sweden and for our partners, says Löfven in Brussels.

Facts: EU long-term budget

At a marathon meeting last summer, EU heads of state and government agreed on a major corona support package of € 750 billion and the union’s next long-term budget, totaling € 1,074.4 billion in 2021-27.

The agreement means, among other things, that money will be borrowed jointly for the corona support and then repaid jointly until the year 2058. The agreement also includes a system to prevent EU funds being paid to countries that do not follow basic rule of law and democracy.

However, approval of the settlement has been delayed since Poland and Hungary long opposed the rule of law negotiated. However, after the two countries end their blockade, a final green light from the European Parliament will be opened next week.


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