Brussels proposes the first European ‘Climate Law’; environmentalists are critical

The European Commission today proposed the first European ‘Climate Law’ to legally seal the political commitment to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Environmentalists are critical because the proposal does not include measures to reduce emissions by 2030, and warn that the EU is losing a key decade for climate action.

“The ‘Climate Law’ is a legal translation of our political commitment,” stressed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. This “heart of the European Green Deal” provides investors and industry with the necessary predictability, they stress in Brussels.

The proposed law includes a follow-up plan. Based on a comprehensive impact assessment, the Commission will propose new objectives for reducing emissions by 2030 and then amend the ‘Climate Law’ accordingly. By June 2021, it will review and, if necessary, revise all the tools necessary to achieve these objectives.

The ‘Climate Law’ as a European message to international partners

The Commission will also propose intermediate objectives for reducing emissions in the 2030-2050 period. By September 2023, and every five years thereafter, it will review the compliance of European and national measures with these objectives.

If a EU member’s action does not comply with the objective of climate neutrality, the Commission may issue a recommendation to improve the measures. The EU members will need to develop and implement climate change adaptation strategies.

‘Climate Law’ is also a European message to international partners that joint ambition needs to be strengthened this year in order to achieve the Paris Climate Agreement, said Frans Timmermans, executive vice president for the Green Deal.

The Commission has also launched a public consultation today on a European climate pact that will last for twelve weeks. Based on the results, the Commission will define a climate pact to be launched before the international climate conference in Glasgow in November.

The Commission also proposes to make 2020 the European Year of Railways in order to highlight the climate benefits of increased use of rail networks to transport both people and freight.

The ‘Climate Law’ already a target of environmentalists’ criticism

The ‘Climate Law’ has immediately become the target of criticism of environmentalists who, before presenting the proposal, warned that the Commission is merely postponing urgent decisions as its proposal doesn’t include specific intermediate objectives.

The proposal does not contain any measures to reduce emissions by 2030, although UN scientists warn that reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade is crucial to the success or failure of climate action, Greenpeace points out.

“Decades of diversion and half-measures have brought us to the point where we are right before the climate collapse. The time to act is now, not ten years from now,” Greenpeace’s climate policy advisor Sebastian Mang warned.


Source: STA,

Photo: Pixabay