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Climate Action

2040 climate target

Reducing net emissions by 90% by 2040

In February 2024, the European Commission presented its assessment for a 2040 climate target for the EU. The Commission recommended reducing the EU’s net greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2040 relative to 1990.

The 2040 climate target will reaffirm the EU’s determination to tackle climate change and will shape our path after 2030, to ensure the EU reaches climate neutrality by 2050. The climate neutrality objective is at the heart of the European Green Deal, and is a legally binding objective set out in the European Climate Law.

The EU's 2030 climate target is to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% relative to 1990. The 2040 climate target is our next intermediate step on the path to climate neutrality.

Historical and projected sectoral greenhouse gas emissions in the period 2015-2050

Reducing our net emissions by 90% by 2040 will:

  • put us on course towards climate neutrality by 2050, building a healthier and safer future for Europeans
  • ensure predictability for citizens, businesses and investors, by making sure that resources invested now and in the upcoming decades are compatible with the EU’s pathway to climate neutrality, avoiding wasted investments in the fossil fuel economy
  • boost the competitiveness of Europe’s businesses, create stable and future-proof jobs, and enable the EU to lead in developing the clean technology markets of the future
  • make Europe more resilient and strengthen its strategic autonomy

The Commission’s proposal follows a public consultation which took place from 31 March to 23 June 2023, in which we invited citizens and stakeholders to share their views on the EU’s climate target for 2040.

The recommended 2040 climate target is based on the Commission’s detailed impact assessment and the advice of the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change.

Next steps

The Communication launches the process of setting the 2040 climate target for the EU. It opens a political debate on the choices for European citizens and governments on the way forward. This will inform the next Commission, which will take office after the 2024 European elections.

The next Commission will make the legislative proposal to include the 2040 target in the European Climate Law and will ensure that the appropriate post-2030 policy framework is in place to deliver the 2040 target in a fair and cost-efficient manner.

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