The European Union has reached a tentative climate deal that is intended to make the 27-nation bloc climate-neutral by 2050.
Under the provisional deal reached after officials negotiated through the night, the EU also commits itself on an intermediate target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen early Wednesday said the political commitment to becoming the first climate-neutral continent by 2050 is now also a legal commitment.
The Climate Law sets the EU on a green path for a generation
Up to now, the 2030 target had been 40% but under the pressure of increasing evidence of climate change and a more environmentally-conscious electorate that target was pushed up, even if the EU legislature had wanted at 60% target.
The United States, the world’s second-biggest polluter after China, is preparing to announce its new target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Under Biden, the United States has returned to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and all global partners will be meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, to push for strong targets.
Both Washington and Brussels are aiming to go “carbon neutral” by midcentury, a goal scientists say needs to be achieved to keep average global temperatures from rising above 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) by the year 2100.
The Paris accord’s more ambitious target of capping global warming at 1.5 C (2.7 F) by the end of the century compared with pre-industrial times would likely require even more drastic worldwide cuts in emissions.
Wednesday’s EU deal still needs to be officially approved by the member states and the legislature but should be little more than a rubber stamp.