25 June 2021
By Elaine Murphy
MEPs vote for new Climate Law calling on all citizens to “Play their Part”
The European Parliament has today voted to adopt the new EU Climate Law. They are calling for ambitious 2030 and 2040 emissions reduction targets. The European Climate Law proposes a legally binding target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune said this is the first time the Parliament has passed such a bill and it is very ambitious.
The new law transforms the European Green Deal’s political commitment to EU climate neutrality by 2050 into a binding obligation. The new regulation establishes a framework for achieving climate-neutrality in the EU by 2050. It sets a 2030 target of reducing the EU’s net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 55%, compared to 1990 levels.
Under current policies, the world is headed for a temperature rise above 3°C by 2100, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) emissions gap report 2020. Experts say that pursuing a green recovery from the pandemic could help cut global 2030 emissions by 25% below current projections, and so reach the Paris Agreement’s 2°C target.
MEP Clune said: “Climate change affects everyone from households, farmers, the fishing industry, manufacturing and transport. We need to step up on our emission reductions across all sectors. The prize of a safer and more secure planet is a vital one. If not for ourselves then for our children and our grandchildren.”
This Law now gives European citizens and businesses the legal certainty and predictability they need to plan for this transition.
MEP Clune noted how the Irish Government has also published a Climate Action Bill which sets a target to decarbonise the economy by 2050 at the latest.
“We must play our part here in Ireland and do what we can to ensure a safe planet for everyone. The new European law will ensure that the EU will become climate neutral by 2050. The proposed Climate Law now requires EU institutions and Member States to take the measures necessary to achieve the collective climate neutrality objective.”
MEPs insist that both the EU and all member states individually must become climate-neutral by 2050 and that thereafter the EU shall achieve “negative emissions”. They also call for sufficient financing to achieve this.
Member States must now take the necessary steps to meet the target. Member States will also be required to develop and implement adaptation strategies to strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to the effects of climate change. The Climate Law includes measures to keep track of progress and adjust actions accordingly.
Progress will be reviewed every five years, in line with the global stocktake exercise under the Paris Agreement.