March 5 (Renewables Now) - The European Commission (EC) published on Wednesday its proposal for the European Climate Law, which sets a legally binding target for the bloc to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.
Under the new legislation, all member states and EU institutions will be bound to take the necessary measures at national and EU level to meet the target. The Climate Law includes measures to keep track of progress and, when necessary, adjust actions, taking into account the latest scientific evidence on climate change. It is also designed to guarantee that the transition is gradual and fair.
With this legislative proposal, the EC is proposing certain key steps towards reaching the 2050 goal:
- Based on a comprehensive impact assessment, the EC will propose a new 2030 EU target for greenhouse gas emission reductions.
- By June 2021, the EC will review, and where necessary propose to revise, all relevant policy instruments to achieve the additional emission reductions for 2030.
- The EC proposes the setting of a 2030-2050 EU-wide trajectory for GHG emission reductions, to measure progress and give predictability to public authorities, businesses and EU citizens.
- By September 2023, and every five years thereafter, the EC will assess the consistency of EU and national measures with the climate-neutrality objective and the 2030-2050 trajectory.
- The EC will be empowered to issue recommendations to member states whose actions are inconsistent with the climate-neutrality objective, and member states will be obliged to take due account of these recommendations or to explain their reasoning if they fail to do so.
- Member states will also be required to develop and implement adaptation strategies to strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to the effects of climate change.
“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,” said President Ursula von der Leyen.
Under the established legislative procedure, the legislative proposal has been submitted to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions for further consideration.
Progress has been made also on two other important policy instruments under the European Green Deal. The Commission published on Wednesday the inception impact assessments on the future Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and the review of the Energy Taxation Directive.
In addition to these, the EC launched a 12-week public consultation on the future European Climate Pact, inviting citizens and stakeholders to get involved in designing this instrument, which is to be presented before COP26.