Results of the EU 2040 Climate Target Consultation

The Commission has published its summary report of the responses received as part of the EU 2040 target public consultation.

POW was among 879 respondents to the consultation which ran from the 31st of March to the 23rd of June. The objective of the consultation was to gather views from a wide range of citizens and stakeholders. 55% of responses were made by individuals and 45% by organisations.

This consultation was critical as missing the 1.5’C Paris Agreement goal would lead to “severe additional and irreversible” damages to all global ecosystems, not just to our forests and our wetlands but also our cities, our mountain villages and everything in between.
Working together with CAN Europe, our Brand Advocacy group, and Public Affairs Consultancy Ohana POW’s response selected the most realistic and ambitious consultation options for the EU 2040 climate targets. Some key asks are included below:

  • A greater than 90% reduction in net GHG emissions by 2040
  • Accelerating the transition to climate neutrality rather than continuing at current pace or slowing down the transition
  • Using three separate targets for GHG emissions reductions, nature-based carbon removals and industrial removals to accurately represent carbon removals in the sum of ‘net emissions’ (GHG emissions + carbon removals)
  • Support of policy proposals which help to reduce personal footprint such as ensuring that the price of goods and services reflects their impact on climate change and labelling climate impact on such goods and services so that consumers may make climate-friendly choices more easily
  • Using a carrot and fork mechanism to reduce emissions from agriculture by putting a price on agricultural emissions while simultaneously providing payments for carbon removals, incentivising a move to more sustainable farming methods.
  • Prioritising nature-based removals from LUUCF (land use, land-use change and forestry) sink over industrial carbon removals.

What do the results of the consultation reveal?

The majority (73%) of respondents proposed accelerating the EU’s climate transition to 2040. Showing the EU that coming into next year’s EU elections the electorate is ready to support ambitious climate action.
However, whilst 91% of civil society organisations backed acceleration, SMEs and large companies were less ambitious here with only 51% and 28% respectively, choosing acceleration over remaining at the current pace or slowing down the pursuit of the climate transition.
This shows the power of POW’s Brand Advocacy group, a group of companies pushing for the EU to act with the greatest possible ambition on climate.
Not only did our Brand Advocacy group call for a >90% reduction in GHG emissions by 2040, the most ambitious target the consultation allowed. But it also attached an additional statement as allowed in the consultation calling for the following.

1. The urgent need to end all subsidisation of the fossil fuel industry.
2. The urgent need to halt fossil fuel expansion. This means blocking any new oil or gas fields, coal mines or coal mine extensions, as described in the IEA World Energy Outlook Report 2021.
The EU needs to see that successful businesses in Europe’s important outdoor sector support climate action.

You can read the full statement including the list of participating brands here

For a full in-depth analysis of all parts of the consultation from our policy expert click here