The European Commission hailed on April 21 the provisional agreement between the co-legislators on the European Climate Law which enshrines the EU’s commitment to reaching climate neutrality by 2050 and the intermediate target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.
“I am delighted that we have reached an agreement on this core element of the European Green Deal,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. “Our political commitment to becoming the first climate neutral continent by 2050 is now also a legal commitment. The Climate Law sets the EU on a green path for a generation. It is our binding pledge to our children and grandchildren,” she added.
Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans also called the agreement a landmark moment for the EU. “We have reached an ambitious agreement to write our climate neutrality target into binding legislation, as a guide to our policies for the next 30 years. The Climate Law will shape the EU’s green recovery and ensure a socially just green transition. Today’s agreement also reinforces our global position as a leader in tackling the climate crisis. When world leaders gather on Earth Day, the EU will come to the table with this positive news, which we hope will inspire our international partners. This is a good day for our people and our planet,” Timmermans said.
In addition to the 2050 climate neutrality target, the deal reached on April 21 strengthens the European framework for climate action by introducing an ambitious 2030 climate target of at least 55% reduction of net emissions as compared to 1990, with clarity on the contribution of emission reductions and removals.
The agreement also recognizes the need to enhance the EU’s carbon sink through a more ambitious land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) regulation, for which the Commission will make proposals in June 2021.
Moreover, the agreement strengthens the European framework for climate action by introducing a process for setting a 2040 climate target, taking into account an indicative greenhouse gas budget for 2030-2050 to be published by the Commission, a commitment to negative emissions after 2050, the establishment of European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change, that will provide independent scientific advice, stronger provisions on adaptation to climate change, strong coherence across Union policies with the climate neutrality objective and a commitment to engage with sectors to prepare sector-specific roadmaps charting the path to climate neutrality in different areas of the economy, the Commission said.
Meanwhile, the European Commission on April 21 adopted an ambitious and comprehensive package of measures to help improve the flow of money towards sustainable activities across the EU. By enabling investors to re-orient investments towards more sustainable technologies and businesses, thes measures will be instrumental in making Europe climate neutral by 2050. They will make the EU a global leader in setting standards for sustainable finance, the Commission said.
The EU Taxonomy Climate Delegated Act aims to support sustainable investment by making it clearer which economic activities most contribute to meeting the EU’s environmental objectives.