I thank the Deputy for raising this issue. Following a mandate provided by the European Council in March 2018, the European Commission published a communication, A Clean Planet for All, in November 2018, which will provide essential analytical underpinning for the preparation by the European Union of a long-term strategy for submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, by 2020. I welcomed the Commission's publication when it was presented to the Environment Council. It sets out a range of scenarios through which the European Union can lead the way to climate neutrality by investing in realistic technological solutions, developing the circular economy and promoting sustainable lifestyles. The Commission's communication has since been examined at expert level and in a number of Council formations, including the Environment and Energy Councils, at which I represent Ireland.
The communication presents a clear vision, supported by a detailed analysis, of how the European Union could work towards climate neutrality by mid-century in line with the Paris Agreement objectives, while at the same time contributing to positive economic transformation of the European economy. In the context of the Energy Council on 4 March, Ireland and a number of other member states have also invited the Commission to work towards developing a scenario of 100% renewable energy by 2050. At its meeting on 21 and 22 March 2019 the European Council requested the Council to continue its examination of the proposals ahead of further discussions later in the year.
Ireland fully supports the first commitment made by the European Union under the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared with 1990 levels. With the ambitious 2030 targets agreed to at EU level recently for renewable energy and energy efficiency, coupled with a strong ambition in respect of emissions standards for both light and heavy duty vehicles, the European Union may exceed its agreed targets for 2030. There is currently no formal proposal from the European Commission for the European Union to increase its targets for this period.
In order to meet Ireland's target for 2030 that we reduce emissions in the non-emissions trading scheme, non-ETS, sector by 30% and building on the framework set out in the mitigation plan and the national development plan, I am developing an all-of-government climate plan which will set out the actions to achieve it.