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EU agrees to cut emissions by more than 50% by end of 2020s

EU agrees to cut emissions by more than 50% by end of 2020s
The EU said the all-night negotiating session helped put the bloc on track to become fully carbon neutral within 30 years. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 11 (UPI) -- The European Union agreed Friday to a plan to reduce carbon emissions from the 27-nation alliance by more than half by the end of the decade, officials said.

The deal is part of the bloc's efforts to become fully carbon neutral by 2050.

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Under the agreement, EU nations will cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55%, compared to 1990 levels, by 2030. The agreement followed discussions that lasted from Thursday night into Friday morning.

Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, which still rely heavily on cheaper coal-powered plants, had argued against the measure.

Poland, the last holdout, signed on after receiving support for its power transition. Warsaw complained about the alliance's carbon-trading system and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Marawiecki said his job would be in danger if he didn't secure some level of economic incentive for transitioning away from coal.

"Great way to celebrate the first anniversary of our [European Union] Green Deal," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted. "It puts us on a clear path toward climate neutrality in 2050."

"This was a marathon European Council with a great result for Europe," European Council President Charles Michel tweeted.

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"We now have the means to power forward our climate and digital strategies for the 21st century. Unity doesn't just happen. It has to be worked for."

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