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BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s top official on Wednesday proposed a more ambitious target for cutting greenhouse emissions in Europe, setting a reduction goal of 55% by 2030, significantly higher than the current target of 40%.

Speaking in the European Parliament, EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said the new target will be “too much for some and not enough for others,” but should help the 27-nation bloc achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

“Our economy and industry can manage this, and they want it, too,” Von der Leyen said as she set out her priorities for the year ahead in her first State of the Union address to EU lawmakers.

EU leaders agreed last year to make the bloc’s economy carbon neutral by the middle of the century.

Von der Leyen added that she wants 37% of the €750 billion coronavirus recovery fund adopted by EU countries this summer to be spent on environmental objectives, and that 30% of the fund should be raised through “green” bonds, whose proceeds are meant to have a positive impact on the environment.

The EU also plans to dedicate a quarter of its budget to tackling climate change and to work to shift 1 trillion euros ($1.1 trillion) in investment toward making the EU’s economy more environmentally friendly over the next 10 years.

According to the EU, its greenhouse gas emissions already decreased by 23% between 1990 and 2018, with the economy growing by 61% in that period.

World leaders agreed five years ago in Paris to keep global warming below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, ideally no more than 2.7 F by the end of the century. Scientists say countries will miss both of those goals by a wide margin unless drastic steps are taken to begin cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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Florida governor reopening state's economy despite spread

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted all restrictions on restaurants and other businesses in Florida on Friday in a move to reopen the state's economy despite the spread of the coronavirus.

The Republican governor's move is sure to stoke debate in a politically crucial state, where the pandemic has become intertwined with the upcoming presidential election. DeSantis is a major ally of President Donald Trump.

DeSantis took the action even as he acknowledged that the pandemic was far from over.

Florida has long been a COVID-19 hotspot, with nearly 700,000 people infected by the virus since the pandemic began in March. Nearly 14,000 Floridians have died.

Since the state’s number of cases peaked in July, the number of new infections have steadily declined.

The outbreak prompted the governor to close bars and nightclubs, and restricted restaurants to take-out dining for months. Amusement parks ground to a halt.

The closures battered the economy, leaving hundreds of thousands of Floridians unemployed.

DeSantis has slowly reopened the state for business since then, allowing restaurants and bars to reopen at half capacity, even as the pandemic continues to spread.

Florida added 2,847 confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, pushing the statewide total since March 1 to 695,887. The state also announced 120 new virus deaths, pushing its total to 14,038. Hospitalizations declined by 34 to 2,137 people.

The governor’s announcement Friday would allow restaurants across the state to immediately reopen at full capacity — and would bar cities and counties from ordering restaurants to close, unless they can justify a closure for economic or health reasons.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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