Speed Reads

fighting climate change

Under tentative climate deal, European Union would be carbon-neutral by 2050

After a night of negotiations, the European Union agreed early Wednesday to a tentative deal that would make its 27 member states carbon-neutral by 2050.

"Our political commitment to becoming the first climate-neutral continent by 2050 is now also a legal commitment," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. "The Climate Law sets the EU on a green path for a generation."

As part of the preliminary agreement, the EU will also commit to slashing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, The Associated Press reports. The EU's member states and legislature still have to officially sign off on the deal, but it's expected to be approved, AP says.

Starting Thursday, President Biden is hosting a two-day virtual climate summit, and Chinese President Xi Jinping has accepted Biden's invitation to attend the event; this will be their first meeting since Biden's inauguration in January. China's foreign ministry spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday that Xi plans on delivering an "important" speech during the summit.

The U.S. and China emit the most greenhouse gases, accounting for nearly half of the world's total emissions. China has said it will hit peak emissions by 2030, before becoming carbon-neutral by 2060, and Biden is expected to announce this week that the U.S. will cut its greenhouse gas emissions at least in half by 2030.