Luxembourg climate summit shows division in detail, unity in intentions

Climate Minister Rob Jetten warns that the Netherlands cannot agree to watered-down European climate ambitions. At a meeting in Luxembourg with his EU colleagues, Jetten made it clear that the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030 must remain in place. The Netherlands wants an ambitious agreement on this soon.

The climate and environment ministers are negotiating climate proposals from the so-called Fit for 55 package of European Commissioner Frans Timmermans in Luxembourg. It consists of a series of measures with which the EU should emit 55 percent less CO2 by 2030. “This package is the milestone towards 2050,” said Jetten. The EU member states have agreed to be climate neutral by 2050.

But the interests of the 27 countries are very different in some areas. In order to reach a compromise, parts of the package threaten to be weakened. Jetten said that he understood certain concerns among different member states, and that solutions must be found. But they must not lead to the EU failing in its ambitions.

Timmermans also called for an agreement on arrival in Luxembourg. “We must not fail today, there is no time to lose,” he said. “We have already come this far, it would be a tragedy if it failed.”On Monday, EU ministers already reached an agreement on two other climate laws, on efficient energy consumption and the use of renewable energy. But the five bills that are on the table as one package on Tuesday are technically very complicated and sometimes sensitive.

Among other things, a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035 is on the table, and the size of an intended Social Climate Fund to financially support the regions and citizens most affected by the green transition. Diplomats note that negotiations continue until nightfall.