Events Calendar

Euractiv organises policy events (hybrid, virtual, in-person) in Brussels and other European capitals.

Euractiv Events

EU 2050 climate targets: Are they feasible and can they be achieved without stunting economic growth?


EU 2050 climate targets:  Are they feasible and can they be achieved without stunting economic growth?


The EU aims to be climate-neutral by 2050 – an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. This objective is at the heart of the European Green Deal and in line with the EU’s commitment to global climate action under the Paris Agreement.

The EU is on track to meet its emissions reduction target for 2020 and has put in place legislation to achieve its 2030 climate and energy targets of reducing emissions by at least 40% by 2030. In her 2020 State of the Union speech, President von der Leyen announced the EU’s plan to raise its ambitions and reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2030.

It is difficult to predict whether achieving the 2050 target would damage economic growth and prosperity. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that reducing emissions could slow economic growth by 0.06 per cent annually. On the other hand, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) argues that tackling climate change, as part of a transition that also includes a structural reform and fiscal initiatives, could add 1% to GDP in G20 countries by 2021, and 2.8% by 2050.

According to a report to be published by McKinsey and Company, achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 is feasible without compromising economic growth or prosperity. The report concludes that, optimising for net costs, a clear pathway to achieve the EU’s emission targets emerges, almost entirely based on proven technologies.

Join this EURACTIV Virtual Conference to discuss whether achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 is possible without compromising economic growth. Questions to be discussed include:

-What are the economic costs of achieving the 2050 target?
-Would a joint EU-wide emissions target be achievable at a lower cost than individual member state targets?
-To achieve cost-optimal decarbonisation, is there a sequence in which sectors would reach net-zero emissions? Which sectors would face the greatest hurdles?
-Do we already have the technologies required for the desired emission reductions?
-How does the decarbonisation transition affect the EU’s energy independence?

Supported by:

McKinsey andCompany




Marcel Beukeboom, Climate Envoy, Kingdom of the Netherlands
Victor Negrescu, MEP, Member of BUDG and Substitute of ECON, European Parliament
Cillian Lohan, Vice President for Communication, European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
Carlos Calvo Ambel, Senior Director, Non Road and Analysis, Transport and Environment
Solveigh Hieronimus, Senior Partner, McKinsey and Company
Hauke Engel, Partner, McKinsey and Company


Frédéric Simon, Journalist, EURACTIV


14:30 - 14:35 Introduction and House rules
14:35 - 14:40 Presentation of the McKinsey report on achieving net-zero emissions by 2050
14:40 - 15:00 Opening statements
15:00 -15:55 Moderated discussion and Q&A
15:55 - 16:00 Closing statements


Matea Krivanek

Related article

Europe can hit climate neutrality goal at net-zero cost: report

Europe can hit climate neutrality goal at net-zero cost: report

Although cutting emissions to net-zero by 2050 will destroy jobs and push up the costs of doing business in some sectors, it will bring gains elsewhere that will make up for the difference, according to a new study by McKinsey & company.