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European Commission proposes Climate Law to make 2050 net zero emissions target legally binding

EU Climate Law to make 2050 net zero emissions target legally binding

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Published

March 5, 2020

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Published:

March 5, 2020

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The European Commission has proposed a European Climate Law with the aim of making the EU’s plan to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 legally binding. The proposed legislation also seeks to provide predictability for public authorities, businesses, and citizens in the bloc’s transition towards climate neutrality.

“The Climate Law is the legal translation of our political commitment, and sets us irreversibly on the path to a more sustainable future […] It gives direction to our green growth strategy and guarantees that the transition will be gradual and fair,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The European Union’s ambition to become the world’s first climate-neutral bloc by 2050 is at the heart of the European Green Deal, according to a press release from the commission.

The Climate Law also envisages progress reviews every five years, starting from September 2023, and proposes setting a 2030-2050 EU-wide trajectory for greenhouse gas emission cuts.

An ongoing public consultation will help shape the European Climate Pact.

The European Commission has also launched a 12-week public consultation whose inputs should help shape a European Climate Pact, which is planned to be launched ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2020.

The Climate Pact is a broad initiative to give citizens and stakeholders a voice and role in designing new climate actions, among other things.

12 EU member states urge raising 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target to around 50%-55%

Meanwhile, 12 EU member states have called for raising the bloc’s greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030 from 40% to around 50%-55%, according to a letter to the European Commission’s Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, who is in charge of leading the commission’s work on the European Green Deal and the Climate Law.

The plan to reach this target should be presented by June 2020 at the latest for the EU to take leadership on ratifying ambitious climate goals that will urge other countries to intensify their actions during international events in 2020, the 12 countries said in the letter.

The letter was signed by Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

WWF Central and Eastern Europe warns Climate Law lacks urgency required by climate crisis

WWF Central and Eastern Europe has said in a press release that the proposed Climate Law puts the EU on an essential course towards net zero emissions, but fails to include measures that would reduce emissions drastically in the short term.

WWF Central and Eastern Europe says the law should include a target, in line with science, to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 65% by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2040.

The law should also contain a separate target for removing CO2 from the atmosphere by restoring forests and other ecosystems, as well as a ban on all fossil fuel subsidies, tax breaks, advertising and other benefits for coal, oil and gas, the organization added in the statement.

The commission’s proposal, according to the press release, also lacks a commitment to set up an independent scientific body to scrutinize the EU’s targets and its plans and policies to tackle the climate emergency.

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