Top EU official proposes new 2030 target to reduce emissions


Earlier today. European Commission President Ursula von Delaying gave her first State of the Union address to the European. Parliament. It's fair to say that it has been and will be more closely scrutinized than the setpiece usually is the EU is beset like the rest of the world by an ongoing pandemic and associated economic turbulence, and also attempting to ease the United Kingdom out of the block with as little damage to the fixtures and fittings as possible and the UK's latest history on x over the last week or so demonstrate that this remains an unsolved problem while joined with more Bite Niamey Leery Europe correspondent at the Irish Times. Niamey before we talk about the details of what Slovan delay and had to say, did it strike you? There was an overall theme or tone she was swinging for I. Think it was quite striking. Future focused. She talked about how can we get out of the Democrats economic repercussions in a way that says. The continent for the future. So it was very much to do with tying together the various different goals whether that's a climate and economic development where increasing digitalization on. Also a one section of her speech, which I thought was particularly strong was on discrimination and efforts at kind of acknowledging the reality in the block of racism and discrimination. Based on sexual orientation or religious beliefs. So it was quite wide ranging and then the other aspect of it was. She proposed making it easier for the EU to come up with common policy when it comes to international relations particularly on matters relating to human rights sanctions. So just as a liberation on that idea of general tone this being her first state of the Union as as commission president does it does it seem that we understand what her idea of the European Union is. I think she Saturday as being. A sort of an unfinished project what it ought to be somewhere where people can have a quality of life get paid fairly for work have social protections that you're does better on that than other parts of the world, and that's part of the reason why able better able to weather the pandemic but that it's not enough and she said that there would be a new framework introduced to. Member states to set minimum wages in order to make work pay property. Then an in addition to that there was the The section on discrimination which I think was unusual in acknowledged the struggles in the block in terms of she mentioned a particular discrimination against Rome people on also the LGBTQ I free zones in. Poland or she called out as inhumane. And so I think she's she was quite strong meticulous division of the block as being a place where people and live more freely with rights and have a better quality of life in general but I think that she also you know it's it's. It's quite telling that she. She had. Many. Difficulties take me in terms of international relations they were for her to talk about it was difficult relationship with Russia difficult relationship with China difficult relationship with the United States difficult relationship Britain as well. Well, let's talk about some of those difficult relationships and because we are here broadcasting from London let's talk about the difficult relationship. The now has with the UK did brexit get much of a mention? She did mention us. So she said that with every day that passes it becomes more difficult for deal to be reached and she also said that. The EU would stand by with the agreement would never at go back on its the an agreement that had been passed by the European Parliament Anheuser Commons and that had been jointly agreed by the UK Andy you to Protect citizen's rights but also she said first and foremost the Good Friday Agreement on the department and it was quite interesting as well to know that she she also quote the late John Hume, the Nobel laureate. And former SDLP leader from dairy and she said that she described him as one of the Great Europeans. And mentioned that he he recently passed away on us used a quote from him to kind of talk about the strength of diversity which I thought was quite. An interesting use of quotes. It was notable high. She was sort of writing in that story, which is I suppose a Northern Irish story really into this story of the European Union. You mentioned the difficulty of the relationship with Russia and obviously the country of which us live underlying walls defense minister. Germany has found itself once again. On the front line over that relationship having taken in the apparently poisoned opposition politician Alexei Navalny did she took you light any kind of? Way of how the e you can live alongside Russia. She was quite I thought her words were quite firm on Russia's so she said. That the poison she mentioned the poisoner Nevada and said that it wasn't a one sauce and she said, no. Number of gas, pipelines is GONNA. Is GonNa fix that relationship she also am I thought spoke quite in quite heartfelt way in solidarity with the people of Belarus Moore she said that they'd be brave and gone out on the streets and they should have the they shouldn't be pieces on someone else's chessboard what she said, but they should have the ability to determine their own future. You said at the top of this item that she attempted to link the recovery. Well, hopeful eventual recovery from the pandemic the associated economic problems to broader themes of climate in the future on climate in particular. Did she have anything of note to say. So. What? What under nine has proposed that the target for the block to reduce emissions should be increased fifty five percent by twenty thirty, that's compared to a previous commitment to forty percent. This is compared to nine thousand, nine, hundred levels of emissions, and she said that this would be vital in order for the block to reach its Paris Agreement commitments on also its goal of becoming climate neutral by twenty fifty on the way she she described the landmark agreement of the e you to join me borrow seven, hundred, fifty, billion, euro. As an opportunity to do this by directing at least thirty percent or thirty seven percent of the investment towards green initiatives. So things like development of green hydrogen. Renovating homes with. Forty percent of emissions and also. Increasing the car charging network electric vehicle charging that things like that an while this could go in. With kind of digital developments there. For example, at fast broadband were available continent wide including in rural areas that would both alive for rural development but also for things like you know people to work from home more easily and things like that. So she she s she she argued that these things could go hand in hand essentially. But Green groups have been quick to come out and say that fifty five percent of the target isn't enough now some of them had themselves called for that in the. In the past but I guess with the scale of the disaster that they say we're facing, you know they're always going to want to push for more and more ambitious targets

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