EU Executive Prime Minister Frans Timmermans delivers a speech at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Convention Centre, in Egypt s Red Sea resort city of the same name, during the COP27 climate conference on November 15, 2022. AFP
Armed with new plans to curb greenhouse gases, the EU says it will be able to exceed its original plan to cut emissions by 55 percent by 2030 with a new goal of over 57 percent, from 1990 levels.
"The European Union is here to move forwards, not backwards," European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans told delegates today at the COP27 in the Egyptian seaside resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.
He denied the bloc was in a "dash for gas" in response to the invasion of Ukraine by fossil fuel exporter Russia.
"So don't let anybody tell you here or outside that the EU is backtracking," he said.
Campaigners said the EU announcement did not go far enough.
"This small increase announced today at COP27 doesn't do justice to the calls from the most vulnerable countries at the front lines," said Chiara Martinelli, of Climate Action Network Europe.
"If the EU, with a heavy history of emitting greenhouse gases, doesn't lead on mitigating climate change, who will?"
In October, the European Environment Agency warned that Europe was not on track to meet that target after greenhouse gas emissions rebounded in 2021 due to the post-pandemic recovery.