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2050 long-term strategy

Policy

The EU aims to be climate-neutral by 2050 – an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. This objective is at the heart of the European Green Deal and in line with the EU’s commitment to global climate action under the Paris Agreement.

The transition to a climate-neutral society is both an urgent challenge and an opportunity to build a better future for all.

All parts of society and economic sectors will play a role – from the power sector to industry, mobility, buildings, agriculture and forestry.

The EU can lead the way by investing into realistic technological solutions, empowering citizens and aligning action in key areas such as industrial policy, finance and research, while ensuring social fairness for a just transition.

Commission’s vision

The Commission set out its vision for a climate-neutral EU in November 2018, looking at all the key sectors and exploring pathways for the transition.

The Commission's vision covers nearly all EU policies and is in line with the Paris Agreement objective to keep the global temperature increase to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to keep it to 1.5°C.

As part of the European Green Deal, the Commission proposed on 4 March 2020 the first European Climate Law to enshrine the 2050 climate-neutrality target into law.

EU strategy

All Parties to the Paris Agreement are invited to communicate, by 2020, their mid-century, long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies.

The European Parliament endorsed the net-zero greenhouse gas emissions objective in its resolution on climate change in March 2019 and resolution on the European Green Deal in January 2020.

The European Council endorsed in December 2019 the objective of making the EU climate-neutral by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement.

The EU submitted its long-term strategy to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in March 2020.

National strategies

EU Member States are required to develop national long-term strategies on how they plan to achieve the greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed to meet their commitments under the Paris Agreement and EU objectives.

Stakeholder input

  • A stakeholder event on 10-11 July 2018 brought together stakeholders from business, research and civil society for a discussion on the forthcoming EU strategy.
  • The public consultation from 17 July to 9 October 2018 received more than 2800 replies.
  • The Commission’s vision launched an EU-wide reflection on the EU strategy, involving EU institutions, national parliaments, business sector, non-governmental organisations, cities, communities and citizens across Europe.

Key documents

Documentation

2018 - Vision for a long-term EU strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions

2011 - Roadmap for a competitive low-carbon Europe

In 2011, the European Commission put forward a roadmap for a competitive low-carbon Europe by 2050. The roadmap presented possible action up to 2050 which could enable the EU to deliver greenhouse gas reductions in line with the 80 to 95% target agreed internationally in the context of necessary reductions by developed countries as a group. The roadmap outlined milestones towards the target, policy challenges, investment needs and opportunities in different sectors.

Key documents:

  • 04/2012 - Behavioural Climate Change Mitigation Options and Their Appropriate Inclusion in Quantitative Longer Term Policy Scenarios