Europe

EU reaches agreement on climate law

EU institutions reach historic deal on making greenhouse gas reduction targets enforceable by law

Agnes Szucs   | 21.04.2021
EU reaches agreement on climate law FILE PHOTO

BRUSSELS

EU institutions on Wednesday reached an agreement on a concrete text for the bloc’s climate law.

“This is a historic day, negotiations concluded on EU climate law,” EU lawmaker Jytte Guteland, head of the European Parliament’s negotiating delegation, announced at a Brussels press conference.

The three main EU institutions – the European Commission which proposed the draft law, as well as the co-legislator European Parliament and EU governments represented by the Council of the European Union – reached a deal after 14 hours of negotiations in the final round of talks.

The most important part of the new text is a 2030 reduction target which requires a reduction in net emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 55% compared to 1990.

The climate law also commits the bloc to fully reduce emissions and become climate neutral by 2050, and to set another benchmark later for the year 2040 in order to reach this goal.

Calling the law a “game-changer,” EU lawmaker Pascal Canfin explained that under the new targets the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions will be 2.5 times faster.

In order to check if the bloc is living up to its standards, the EU will create an independent panel of 15 scientists who will evaluate the progress towards climate neutrality.

Notably, the law makes greenhouse gas emission reduction targets compulsory for both countries and companies operating in the EU as well as enforceable by law.

Setting climate protection as one of its priorities, the European Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen announced its called European Green Deal strategy right after its inauguration in December 2019.

The EU executive body proposed a draft climate law in March 2020, followed by negotiations by EU institutions.

The text now needs to be officially adopted by the European Parliament and the EU Council.

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