“I admit that for many, this increase from 40% to 55% is too much, but for others it is not enough,” Leiena said of the EC’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic crisis. “But our impact assessment clearly shows that our economy and industry can deal with it.”
An emissions reduction plan to 2030 has yet to be agreed between EU leaders and the EP.
The debate on reducing emissions in the bloc is very heated, with some countries stating that they cannot make greater reductions due to the dependence of their economies on polluting sectors such as the coal industry.
Environmentalists, on the other hand, point out that a 55% reduction is also insufficient to achieve the EU’s long-term goal of a climate-neutral economy by 2050.
Leiena also called for greater solidarity in combating the coronavirus pandemic and building a stronger health system within the bloc.
“Europe’s people are still suffering,” Leiena said. “So our first priority is to pull each other through this.”
Funding for the EU’s health program needs to be increased and a global health summit will be held in Italy next year, Leiena said.
Another step will be the establishment of a European biomedical research agency, Leiena said.