European climate law

Briefing 31-08-2021

On 4 March 2020, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal for a European climate law, setting the objective for the EU to become climate-neutral by 2050 and establishing a framework for achieving that objective. On 17 September 2020, the Commission amended the proposal to introduce the updated 2030 climate target of a net reduction of at least 55 % of the EU's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to 1990 levels. In the European Parliament, the proposal was referred to the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. The Parliament adopted its position on 6 October 2020, calling for a 60 % emissions reduction by 2030 and for an independent, inter-disciplinary scientific advisory panel. Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the proposal on 21 April 2021. The agreement sets a 55 % net GHG emission target for 2030 (to be complemented by additional removals from the upcoming review of the LULUCF Regulation), an EU-wide climate neutrality target for 2050, and the aim to achieve negative emissions thereafter. It envisages the use of a GHG budget for setting the 2040 target and establishes a European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change. Parliament approved the agreed text on 24 June 2021. The regulation was published in the Official Journal on 9 July 2021 and entered into force on 29 July 2021. Fourth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.