The Commission’s proposal for the first European Climate Law
With the European Climate Law the Commission proposes a legally binding target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The EU Institutions and the Member States are bound to take the necessary measures at EU and national level to meet the target, taking into account the importance of promoting fairness and solidarity among Member States.
The Climate Law includes measures to keep track of progress and adjust our 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.
The Climate Law also addresses the necessary steps to get to the 2050 target:
Based on a comprehensive impact assessment, the Commission will propose a new EU target for 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reductions. This part of the 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 deliver the additional emissions reductions for 2030.
The Commission proposes the adoption 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.
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 legislative proposal was submitted to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions for further consideration under the ordinary legislative procedure.