EU climate law
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Image credit: Image source: EC – Audiovisual Service — © European Union, 2019

The European Commission has announced a new piece of legislation, the proposed European Climate Law, which it says will commit the 27 union member countries to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to nil by 2050.

The law, which is still to be approved by member states and the EU parliament, includes a revised 2030 decarbonisation target for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

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As per the proposed revision, as from September 2023, and every five years thereafter, the union will assess the consistency of national commitments and international efforts relative to the climate-neutrality objective’s trajectory.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said: “We are acting today to make the EU the world’s first climate neutral continent by 2050. The Climate Law is the legal translation of our political commitment and sets us irreversibly on the path to a more sustainable future. It is the heart of the European Green Deal.

“It offers predictability and transparency for European industry and investors. And it gives direction to our green growth strategy and guarantees that the transition will be gradual and fair.”

Frans Timmermans, executive vice-president for the European Green Deal added: “The European Climate Law is also a message to our international partners that this is the year to raise global ambition together, in the pursuit of our shared Paris Agreement goals.

The Climate Law will ensure we stay focused and disciplined, remain on the right track and are accountable for delivery.”

The Commission has officially started work with the publication of the inception impact assessments on the future Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and the review of the Energy Taxation Directive, two of the other important policy instruments under the European Green Deal. In addition, the College of Commissioners adopted a proposal to designate 2021 as the European Year of Rail to highlight the benefits for the climate of increasing passenger and freight use of the rail network.

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