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Parliamentary questions
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2 December 2019
Priority question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Laura Huhtasaari
 Subject: Review of the EU’s climate policy in the light of the Union’s principle of proportionality

One of the top priorities of the Ursula von der Leyen Commission is preventing climate change. The new Commission’s climate policy aims to make Europe a climate-neutral continent by 2050. In order to achieve this goal, Von der Leyen argues that it is necessary to raise the 2030 emission reduction target from the current 40% to at least 50%. The Commission also wants to extend EU emissions trading to new sectors such as maritime and air transport, car driving and construction.

The Commission has planned the creation of a separate fund to support EU countries in their transition from fossil fuels to cleaner industries and energy sources. This funding is also intended to support the retraining of workers for a greener industry. The size of the Fund will depend on the outcome of the 2021-2027 financial negotiations, but is expected to be in the order of tens of billions of euros, excluding, for example, border management and agriculture.

Under the principle of proportionality, EU action should not exceed what is necessary to achieve the objectives of the Treaties. It is open to question whether the EU’s unilateral declaration of intent to adopt more stringent emission reduction targets accords with the Union’s principle of proportionality, as the issue of climate requires global solutions. Without the help of China, India and the USA, the EU’s more stringent climate policy will lead to a growing carbon leakage, jeopardise the competitiveness of European industry and erode social cohesion in EU countries.

EU climate policy cannot be considered legitimate if it has an adverse social and economic impact on Member States. Does the Commission intend to have an impartial impact assessment of the EU’s climate policy performed in order to establish its compatibility with the Union’s principle of proportionality?

Last updated: 4 December 2019Legal notice