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New EU chief makes daring local weather commitments

Ursula von der Leyen will take workplace as President of the European Fee in November.Credit score: Michael Kappeler / dpa / Alamy

Former German Protection Minister Ursula von der Leyen would be the subsequent president of the European Fee and put local weather change on the high of her agenda. Von der Leyen was elected shortly on 16 July by the members of the European Parliament and have become the primary lady to take over the chief department of the European Union.

Von der Leyen's nine-voice majority displays the discontent of many MPs who had been stunned by his appointment final month by nationwide leaders. Many parliamentarians would have most popular a pacesetter of considered one of Parliament's political teams to carry the place of senior official in Brussels – a task that’s answerable for defining and implementing the Fee's political program.

In a speech to Parliament a couple of hours earlier than her election, Ms von der Leyen stated that she supposed to make local weather and the surroundings a high precedence in all EU coverage areas. It’s dedicated to strengthening the EU's short-term aim of lowering greenhouse gasoline emissions from a discount of a minimum of 40% to a minimum of 50% by 2030 in comparison with the degrees of greenhouse gasoline emissions. 1990. The EU may also assume a number one position within the upcoming worldwide local weather negotiations and encourage different main economies to extend their ambition by 2021, she stated.

From a scientific perspective, the extra formidable aim of lowering carbon dioxide emissions is a vital step, stated Ottmar Edenhofer, director of the Institute for Analysis on Affect of the local weather of Potsdam in Germany.

Von der Leyen can be anticipated to announce a European "Inexperienced Deal" within the first 100 days of his time period, which would come with a regulation aimed toward making Europe carbon impartial by 2050. Europe turns into the primary climate-neutral continent, "she says.

The proposed settlement, outlined in a political agenda revealed yesterday, features a technique for biodiversity for Europe, an in depth buying and selling system for emission rights and a tax allowing keep away from "leakage" of carbon – when corporations switch the manufacturing of products to international locations which have relaxed their emission standards. limits.

It’s also dedicated to unlocking 1 trillion euros over the subsequent decade for local weather – associated investments, and turning a part of the European Funding Financial institution right into a devoted local weather financial institution. which might direct non-public funding in direction of local weather and clear vitality initiatives "in all corners of the EU". , she says.

With the proposed insurance policies, Europe will turn into a pacesetter in worldwide efforts for local weather safety, stated Claudia Kemfert, skilled on local weather and vitality coverage on the German Institute for Financial Analysis in Berlin. "The Inexperienced Deal is progressive and can create enormous financial alternatives by opening new markets and avoiding climate-related harm," she stated. "Europe will set the requirements on this means."

However von der Leyen's formidable local weather proposals had been cautiously welcomed – notably by the alliance of Inexperienced Celebration MPs in Parliament, which voted in opposition to her and criticized her plans. "We now have been elected as a part of a change agenda and we’ve not heard sufficient our fundamental calls for, together with concrete proposals to keep away from local weather change," stated the co-leader of the Inexperienced alliance, Ska Keller.

The brand new president must get help from the EU international locations. Strengthening local weather targets is a choice that EU member states should make by consensus, stated Oliver Geden, coverage researcher on the German Institute of Worldwide Affairs and Safety in Berlin. "It's a burning query," he says.

"Now she must preserve her guarantees," says Edenhofer. "Inaction or inertia should not choices for our local weather. Mrs von der Leyen ought to work arduous to place in place a complete and efficient European Emissions Buying and selling Scheme. "

Von der Leyen succeeds Luxembourg politician Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Fee since 2014. Earlier than taking workplace in November, she is going to choose a brand new Commissioners' Cupboard, together with the successor to the Commissioner for Analysis. outgoing, Carlos Moedas.

The small print of the subsequent EU analysis funding program, Horizon 2020, will likely be finalized by the Fee and Parliament by the top of the 12 months. Horizon 2020 could have a powerful deal with local weather change features.

Extra report by Nisha Gaind.

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