Europe commits to 35 percent CO2 cut by 2030, after dire UN climate report

Proposed design for BMW Group Battery Cell Competence Center in Munich, Germany

Following a U.N. report on Monday that concluded world leaders have only two decades to end emissions of greenhouse gases or suffer catastrophic climate change, the European Union took just 13 hours to announce plans to cut emissions from cars and trucks a further 35 percent by 2030.

Transportation is the only sector in Europe whose emissions of global-warming gasses are still growing.

The EU already has among the strictest limits on emissions of carbon-dioxide in the world. 

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The latest agreement demonstrates the seriousness with which European nations take the commitments they agreed to under the Paris Climate accords.

While some of the 28 European member states favored different proposals, the speed with which the governing body acted seems an unimaginable rush by comparison to the U.S. Congress.

Even Germany, which advocated for a slower approach to protect auto-manufacturing jobs, argued for a 30-percent reduction from 2021 levels by 2030, according to a Reuters report.

Other countries, such as Ireland and the Netherlands advocated for even steeper restrictions of 40 percent

Several European countries have already announced eventual bans on cars with internal-combustion engines.

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Germany joined with Eastern European nations to block the more-stringent standards.

In an accommodation for those countries, the agreement includes provisions to measure global warming emissions under more lenient calculations for countries with electric car sales of less than 60 percent of the median by 2030.

The bloc’s 28 environment ministers pledged ahead of a December U.N. meeting in Poland to lead the fight against global warming. This quick commitment confirms just how serious they are.

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