MEPs have celebrated the tireless efforts of the Council and the Parliament’s negotiators as the discussions on an EU Climate Law draw to a close, with ambitious targets of climate neutrality at the forefront of this deal.
The new EU Climate Law increases the EU’s 2030 emissions reductions target from 40% to at least 55% while boosting the contribution from removals that can bring the target to 57%.
Following an intense 14 hours of negotiations last night the two lead negotiators of the law, Swedish MEP Jytte Guteland and French MEP Pascal Canfin, sat down with journalists to explain what Guteland described as “a historic day” for Europe and the world.
I am happy that we concluded the negotiations on the Climate Law. We raised the ambition of the 2030 net target to almost 57%, we got the GHG-budget and the Advisory board. We wanted more, but this is a god first step towards Climate neutrality.
— Jytte Guteland (@JytteGuteland) April 21, 2021
“I believe that with the decision, we have a climate law that will grow and grow and deliver more and more for the climate.” Guteland continued by explaining that this deal has put a focus on integrating the Paris Agreement across every level of EU legislation.
Currently, the Climate Law is a provisional political agreement, meaning it is an informal agreement with Member States. This agreement is subject to approval by both the Council and Parliament before it is able to go through the formal steps of the adoption procedure.
“After a long night of negotiations, I am proud that we now finally have a climate law. We agreed on net emissions reductions of 57 % by 2030. While I would of course have preferred to go even further, this is a good deal that is based on science and which will make a big difference for the climate,” Guteland said, “We have new and more ambitious ground to stand on that can encourage more countries to step up”.
Pascal Canfin noted that this would be a “systematic change”, in line with how the European Green Deal and similar initiatives seek to help push for further initiative into keeping the EU as the global leader in the fight against climate change.
Deal on the Climate Law!
The European Climate Law turns our #EUGreenDeal targets into legal obligations:
📉 reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030
🌍 reaching climate neutrality by 2050
Climate neutrality will guide our policies for the next 30 years. pic.twitter.com/XvJkscP1Ee
— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) April 21, 2021
“For any new legislative proposals coming from the commission, they will have to make the climate check consistency. This means they will have to line up with climate neutrality by law,” Canfin explained, highlighting the importance of the pressure it will keep on EU institutions and Member States to comply or justify by law why they are not.
Asked whether the EU could remain as the global leader of climate change in light of US President Joe Biden’s climate commitments, Guteland emphasised the EU’s role as “the big sister on climate change”.
“They will be encouraged by this, they will be pressed by this. I have no doubt that this is the leadership the world needs,” Guteland continued, whilst highlighting the importance of being ambitious in fighting climate change.
Citing a Cambridge report last week, she noted that an EU Climate Law with such robust ambitions will only “deliver more jobs, more growth and more opportunities”.
— EP_trends (@EP_trends) April 21, 2021
Within the European Parliament, Canfin noted that MEPs attempted to strive for far more within the Climate Deal, wanting the commitments and measures to be far stronger in tackling climate change.
As a result, there is a clear belief that there is a clear majority in favour of the Climate Law within the Parliament. Thus, this means that the real test for the Climate Law will be whether there is a similar majority within the Council.
Looking ahead, the Climate Law will aim to change a total of 50 EU Laws to create a comprehensive guide to the future of the EU. It will also set the groundworks for the next set of climate commitments for 2050 – which will be kickstarted in three years time after the EU looks past the 2030 agreements.
This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
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