The European Commission is set to propose the 2040 climate goal, which aims for the European Union (EU) to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2040. This ambitious target, revealed on Tuesday, aims to position the EU as a leader in the global effort to combat climate change. It aligns with the EU’s broader objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

The proposal comes as part of the European Climate Law, which enshrines in legislation the goals outlined in the European Green Deal. However, it notably modifies the approach towards agriculture, easing previous recommendations in light of recent farmer protests.

According to multiple sources, the Commission is expected to announce that for Europe to remain on track to meet these targets, emissions need to be reduced by between 90% and 95% by 2040.

This comes as the latest in a series of efforts by the EU to combat climate change. The bloc has previously made commitments to zero out the industry’s carbon footprint by 2050, with an emphasis on the power sector. The draft plan stipulates that 100 million tons of CO2 captured by 2050 should come from power plants running on CO2-emitting fossil fuels.

However, the new 2040 goal shows the need for a more rapid transition towards a sustainable future. It also highlights the importance of comprehensive efforts across all sectors, including those traditionally harder to decarbonize such as methane-emitting livestock farming.

The proposed 90% reduction by 2040 is a substantial increase from previous targets and sets the stage for an aggressive decade of climate action within the EU. It not only sends a message about the EU’s commitment to combating climate change but also challenges other global powers to follow suit.

Yet, the road to achieving this ambitious target will not be without challenges. It will require significant investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green technologies. Moreover, it will necessitate a radical societal shift towards more sustainable practices.

While the proposal is expected to face some resistance, it is also likely to be welcomed by many who have been advocating for more aggressive action to combat climate change. The next decade will indeed be decisive, not just for the EU, but for the global community as a whole.

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