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European climate law [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Gregor Erbach (2nd edition, updated on 08.12.2020),

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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. The Commission would be empowered to set out an emissions trajectory for the period between 2030 and 2050. The proposed regulation would also require EU institutions and Member States to build on their climate change measures. The Commission would have to carry out five-yearly assessments – aligned with the review cycle of the Paris Agreement – of progress made towards the objectives and of the consistency of national and EU measures with the objectives. It would be required to take corrective action and could issue recommendations to Member States whose measures were inconsistent with the emissions trajectory. Moreover, the Commission would have to ensure broad public participation. On 17 September 2020, following an impact assessment presented in the 2030 climate target plan, 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 has been 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.


Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the framework for achieving climate neutrality and amending Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 (European Climate Law)
Committee responsible: Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) COM(2020) 80 final
Rapporteur: Jytte Guteland (S&D, Sweden) 2020/0036 (COD)
Shadow rapporteurs: Peter Liese (EPP, Germany), Nils Torvalds, (Renew, Finland), Syliva Limmer (ID, Germany), Michael Bloss (Greens/EFA, Germany), Anna Zalewska (ECR, Poland), Silvia Modig (GUE/NGL, Finland) Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Trilogue negotiations


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