A plan to slash EU carbon emissions to “net zero” within 30 years will be debated at a meeting of leaders that begins in Brussels on Thursday, as the bloc considers joining a growing number of nations poised to adopt tough climate goals and radically reduce greenhouse gases within a generation. The UK this month became the first G20 economy to legislate for a net zero 2050 target, with France set to follow suit and Germany and New Zealand considering similar proposals. Growing concern over record global emissions, as well as increased public pressure, has helped convince the UK and others to step up efforts to cut emissions with the aim of helping the planet avoid the worst effects of global warming. Yet a counter trend also casts doubt on whether they will achieve these lofty ambitions: many of those looking to adopt 30-year climate goals are already well off track in meeting existing emissions targets in the near term. Achieving net zero means cutting greenhouse gas emissions to almost nil, and compensating for any remaining emissions with land-based projects that can absorb carbon dioxide, such as planting trees. Financial Times


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