BRUSSELS — After an all-night negotiating session, European Union leaders agreed on Friday morning to cut net carbon emissions by 55 percent in the next decade from levels measured in 1990, overcoming the concerns of nations still heavily dependent on coal and taking a critical step in the effort to become climate-neutral by 2050.
European leaders, who are keen to position themselves as at the forefront of the global fight against climate change, had failed in October to reach a deal on an even less ambitious target of 40 percent.
But after an agreement on a $2.2 trillion budget yesterday evening — with billions earmarked for member states to spend on the transition to a greener economy — momentum for a consensus environmental policy gathered speed.
Shortly after dawn, Charles Michel, the head of the group of the E.U. leaders, announced the news on Twitter.
“Europe is the leader in the fight against climate change,” he wrote. “We decided to cut our greenhouse gas emissions of at least 55 percent by 2030.”
Also on Friday, Britain announced that it will end billions of dollars a year in government subisidies for overseas oil, gas and coal projects.
The E.U. decision on a new carbon target comes just in time for a United Nations climate meeting this Saturday, where it will be announced by Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm.
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said it was “worth losing a night’s sleep” over the climate deal. “I don’t want to imagine what would have happened if we hadn’t been able to achieve such a
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