European Union leaders will push for a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at an upcoming summit December 12-13, according to a draft statement released December 2. Previous efforts to endorse climate neutrality have been blocked by Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, who rely heavily on coal (Reuters). 

On December 11, the newly installed European Commission will unveil the European Green Deal, a highly anticipated environmental policy to achieve this goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. The Green Deal includes plans to cut carbon emissions by up to 55% by 2030, deliver a one trillion euro sustainable investment plan, and raise the cost of products from countries taking inadequate action on climate change (Reuters, Telegraph). Previously, the EU has set a target to cut carbon emissions by 40% by 2030. According to a report released December 4 by the European Union environmental agency, without further action, the EU will only cut emissions 30% by the target date (AP News). 

In the weeks leading up to the Green Deal, European governments and companies face mounting pressure from activists, scientists, and investors to address climate concerns. A letter written by 44 European investors called upon European Union governments to act on the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality goal (Reuters). On December 2, France announced proposals to sanction high-emission vehicles and set aside funds for the car industry to adapt more environmental standards (Reuters). The Spanish oil and gas company Repsol also pledged on December 2 to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and absorb $5.3 billion in losses to its assets in the process (Reuters).