EU confirms climate neutrality target by 2050
By ECCT staff writers
Members of the European Parliament have endorsed the EU’s Climate Law, which was agreed informally with member states in April, with 442 votes to 203 and 51 abstentions. According to the press release on the European Parliament’s website it transforms the European Green Deal’s political commitment to EU climate neutrality by 2050 into a binding obligation and gives European citizens and businesses the legal certainty and predictability they need to plan for the transition. After 2050, the EU will aim for negative emissions.
The new EU Climate Law increases the EU’s target for reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 from 40% to at least 55%, compared to 1990 levels. In addition, an upcoming proposal from the Commission on the LULUCF Regulation to regulate GHG emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry, will increase EU carbon sinks and will hence de facto increase the 2030 EU’s target to 57%.
According to the press release, the European Commission will make a proposal for a 2040 target at the latest six months after the first global review in 2023 foreseen in the Paris Agreement. In line with Parliament’s proposal, the commission will publish the maximum amount of GHG emissions estimated the EU can emit until 2050 without endangering the EU’s commitments under the Agreement. This so-called ‘GHG budget’ will be one of the criteria to define the EU’s revised 2040 target.
By 30 September 2023, and every five years thereafter, the commission will assess the collective progress made by all EU countries, as well as the consistency of national measures, towards the EU’s goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050.
Given the importance of independent scientific advice, and on the basis of a proposal from Parliament, a European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change will be set-up to monitor progress and to assess whether European policy is consistent with these objectives.