Towards a European climate law

Climate change

A step forward for the definition of a European climate law: yesterday the negotiators of the Council and the European Parliament reached an interim political agreement that introduces into the legislation two objectives to be achieved:

EU climate neutrality for 2050:

  • the reduction of net greenhouse gas emissions (emissions net of removals) of at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
  • To ensure that sufficient efforts are made to reduce and prevent emissions by 2030, a limit of 225 million tonnes of CO² has been introduced equivalent to the contribution of removals to the net target. The negotiators also agreed that the Union will aim to increase the net carbon sink by 2030.

Other elements of the interim agreement include the establishment of a European Scientific Advisory Committee on Climate Change consisting of 15 high-level scientific experts of different nationality, with a maximum of two per Member State, for a four-year term. This body will be independent and will have the task, inter alia, of providing scientific advice and reporting on EU measures, the climate targets and indicative greenhouse gas budgets and their consistency with the European climate law and the EU’s international commitments under the Paris Agreement.

The negotiators agreed that the Commission would propose an interim climate target for 2040, at the latest within six months of the first global budget under the Paris Agreement. At the same time, it will publish a forecast of the Union’s indicative greenhouse gas budget for the period 2030-2050, defined as the total indicative volume of net greenhouse gas emissions (expressed in equivalent CO² and including separate information on emissions and removals) expected to be issued during the period in question without compromising the Union’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.

It was also agreed that the Commission will engage in dialogue with those economic sectors which will voluntarily choose to draw up indicative roadmaps for achieving the Union’s climate neutrality target for 2050. The Commission will also monitor the development of these roadmaps, facilitate dialogue at EU level and share best practice among stakeholders.

Before moving to the formal stages of the adoption procedure, the interim political agreement will have to be approved by the Council and Parliament.

Environment and health