EU negotiators reach agreement on European Climate Law

 

Negotiators from the European Parliament and the member states reached an agreement last week on a new European Climate Law, raising the EU’s climate ambitions significantly.

Negotiations went on late into the night and produced a timely result 24 hours before the US hosted the Leader’s Summit on Climate.

Rapporteur, Jytte Guteland and Chair of the Parliament’s Environment Committee, Pascal Canfin, held a press conference this morning. Although tired, they were upbeat and confident that this Climate Law will deliver on its objectives.

Chair of the Parliament’s Environment Committee, Pascal Canfin declared the Climate Law a game-changer and that: “There will be a ‘before the Climate Law’ and an ‘after the Climate Law’.” 

He went on to explain the wide reach this legislation will have, claiming 50 legislative changes will follow across all climate relevant sectors. 

The Climate Law will enshrine Climate neutrality by 2050 into the EU’s commitments. On a more intermediary timeline, the EU’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target was increased from 40% to at least 55% by 2030.

SuperNode CEO John Fitzgerald responded positively to the news: “The EU continues to set ambitious climate targets, maintaining its global leadership in Climate policy. SuperNode is strongly behind more European collaboration and coordination, believing a pan-European approach is the only way to achieve decarbonisation by 2050.”

There is some complexity in this target around the inclusion of carbon sinks. Thus, a gross reduction of 52.8% GHG emissions, excluding carbon removals from agriculture and forestry, has also been set. This is an ambitious target which will require EU action to move 2.5 times faster than previous targets. 

A greenhouse gas budget will also be implemented which will determine how much carbon can be emitted up to 2050 to stay in line with the Paris Agreement. 

In order to monitor and ensure the success of these targets, the Climate Law will introduce a European Scientific Advisory Board. It will consist of an independent panel of 15 scientific experts - each nominated for a 4-year mandate - who will evaluate and advise on existing and proposed policy measures and targets as well as the greenhouse gas budget.

Mr. Fitzgerald went on to comment on the implications the Climate Law will have on the EU’s renewable energy target,  which must increase from 32% to at least 40% in order to reflect the increased 2030 climate ambition:

“A bolder renewable energy target should help speed up the planning and development of new grid infrastructure, particularly in the offshore space. Europe’s most abundant - and, as of yet, underexploited - energy resource in offshore wind should now see much needed acceleration.”

The agreement will now be fine-tuned by legal experts before being submitted ;for final approval to the Council and Parliament.