1 February 2024

ICLEI and partners rally support for a science-based EU 2040 climate target

ICLEI and its partners from the Coalition for Higher Ambition are rallying broad support for a science-based 2040 climate target. Ahead of the publication of the European Commission’s Communication on the EU Climate Target 2040 expected in February, members of the Coalition have prepared a joint letter calling for a science-based target of at least 90% net emission reductions to limit global temperature rise to below 1.5°C.

In the letter addressed to the Presidents of the three main institutions of the EU and Ministers of the Belgian European Council Presidency, the 14 coalition members from European business and investor organisations, local and regional governments and civil society organisations align themselves with the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change’s (ESABCC) advice to achieve a net emission reduction of at least 90%-95% by 2040.

The range of organisations signing the letter shows the breadth of support for this level of ambition. Coalition members are jointly pointing out that the window of opportunity to avoid the most dangerous effect of climate change is rapidly closing. With temperatures in Europe already reaching 2.1°C above pre-industrial levels, climate change impacts such as heat waves, droughts, floodings, forest fires are already hitting heavily across the globe and increasingly in Europe as well.

In addition, the outcome of COP28 in Dubai this past December signals that the direction of travel is moving away from fossil fuels. The coalition is highlighting in the letter that it is now up to countries to translate this commitment into national targets and measures. Find more about ICLEI’s position on “Implementing COP28: an urgent call for multilevel governance in the EU” here.

With an eye to the European Parliament elections, ICLEI and its coalition partners furthermore emphasise how vital it is to show that the socially just transition towards climate neutrality is indispensable to ensure long-term resilience, peace and political stability. A robust vision for the 2040 milestone in the EU decarbonisation pathway will be an important step in providing the framework for businesses and financial markets to mobilise the needed investments to transform the EU economy to align it to the 1.5°C temperature limit.

Find the full letter and list of signatories here.

About the Coalition for Higher Ambition

The Coalition for Higher Ambition, convened by CAN Europe, is a unique gathering of businesses, investor groups, local and regional authorities, trade unions and civil society groups, standing together to advocate for the EU to accelerate its climate action. Organisations joining the Coalition for Higher Ambition represent major stakeholders from across Europe and a cross section of the European economy, demonstrating the breadth and depth of the call for climate leadership. Read more here.