EU Commission proposes European Climate Law and consults on the European Climate Pact
The European Commission has proposed a new law to enshrine in legislation the EU’s political commitment to climate neutrality by 2050. The European Climate Law sets the 2050 target and the direction of travel for all EU policy. As stated in the press release, the law gives predictability for public authorities, businesses and citizens.
With the European Climate Law, a legally binding target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 has been proposed. The EU Institutions and the Member States are collectively bound to take the necessary measures at EU and national level to meet the target.
The proposed pathway to get to the 2050 target:
- Based on a comprehensive impact assessment, the Commission will propose a new 2030 EU target for greenhouse gas emission reductions. The Climate Law will be amended once the impact assessment is completed.
- By June 2021, the Commission will review, and where necessary propose to revise, all relevant policy instruments to achieve the additional emission reductions for 2030.
- The Commission proposes the setting of a 2030-2050 EU-wide trajectory for greenhouse gas emission reductions, to measure progress and give predictability to public authorities, businesses and citizens.
- By September 2023, and every five years thereafter, the Commission will assess the consistency of EU and national measures with the climate-neutrality objective and the 2030-2050 trajectory.
- The Commission 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. The Commission can also review the adequacy of the trajectory and the Union wide measures.
- 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 includes also measures to keep track of progress and adjust actions, accordingly, based on existing systems such as the governance process for Member States’ National Energy and Climate Plans, regular reports by the European Environment Agency, and the latest scientific evidence on climate change and its impacts. Progress will be reviewed every five years, in line with the global stocktake exercise under the Paris Agreement.
Public consultation on the European Climate Pact
Alongside the announcement of the European Climate Law, the Commission is launching a public consultation on a new European Climate Pact. The public consultation will be open for 12 weeks (27 May 2020).
The consultation, in a form of a questionnaire can be found here. The questions cover the following topics:
- Talking about climate change and environmental crisis: Awareness and information
- Triggering action: pledges and initiatives
- Working together: platforms
- Ideas and suggestions for further development
- Your climate actions and interest in the Pact
The inputs will be used to shape the Climate Pact, which will be launched before the United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place in Glasgow in November 2020 (COP26).