In Brief: EU emissions reduction plan doesn’t go far enough, critics say

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed in her first speech on the state of the EU on Wednesday to reduce emissions by at least 55% over the next decade compared to 1990 levels.

Photo by Marcin Jozwiak on Unsplash



By Sylvia Cunningham and Monika Müller-Kroll

Fridays for Future activists in Germany and other critics say the EU’s plan to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050 doesn’t go far enough.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday proposed reducing emissions by at least 55% over the next decade compared to 1990 levels.

“I recognize that this increase from 40 to 55 [percent] is too much for some, and not enough for others,” von der Leyen said.

Green Party members in the European Parliament had pushed for a 65% reduction in emissions, while the group Friends of the Earth Europe urged the EU to rid its economy entirely of fossil fuel use.

Von der Leyen also talked about the EU Commission’s plan to help build a new camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, adding she expects all member states to step up and do their part.

A fire on the island last week destroyed the Moria refugee camp, displacing more than 12,000 people who lived there.


A new study finds most Germans believe children’s interests have been neglected amid the pandemic.

The survey, commissioned by the children’s charity “Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk,” found that eight out of 10 respondents fear that violence against children has increased.

Three-quarters of those surveyed believe that the quality of education has declined during the pandemic, especially for children from lower-income backgrounds.

The study also found that a majority of Germans support enshrining children’s rights in the constitution.

Advocates argue that doing so would significantly increase children’s ability to understand their rights and stand up for them.


German authorities are investigating 29 police officers in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia who are accused of taking part in right-wing extremist chat groups.

State Interior Minister Herbert Reul said the allegations rendered him speechless and that he didn’t want to believe something like this could really happen.

Among the images the officers reportedly shared on WhatsApp were of Adolf Hitler, swastikas and a fictional depiction of a refugee in a gas chamber.

All 29 officers were suspended Wednesday morning.


Local S-Bahn service between Zoologischer Garten and Friedrichsstraße is suspended through Monday at approximately 1:30 a.m. due to construction work.

The disruption affects four S-Bahn lines: S3, S5, S7 and S9.

Replacement buses will run regularly, and regional trains will continue as usual.

Find more information about recent disruptions affecting S-Bahn and U-Bahn lines.

This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.

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