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Article  EU unveils controversial climate target: what scientists think

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INTRO: The European Commission has unveiled an ambitious climate target for 2040 — aiming to cut net greenhouse-gas emissions by 90% compared to 1990 levels. Researchers say that the target, while admirable, risks relying too much on technologies such as carbon removal — which is largely unproven — rather than prioritizing the cutting of fossil fuels. Political shifts to the right, with many European Union member states electing governments that are unlikely to prioritize climate policy, might also make the goal difficult to achieve.

“It’s going to be very difficult to reach a 90% or 95% emissions reduction without cutting very strongly on fossil fuels,” says Richard Klein, a climate researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute. “Carbon capture and storage is great if it works,” says Klein. “But it simply hasn’t been shown to work at the scale that would be needed — it remains a pipe dream.”

The target was revealed in a ‘communication’ report on 6 February. It is not yet legally binding, but the communication will now form the basis of legislation designed to take the EU beyond its existing targets for 2030, and onto its goal for 2050... (MORE - details)

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