Petr Dubinsky

EU Countries Approve Landmark Climate Law

The member states of the European Union today formally approved the so-called climate law, which sets binding rules for achieving the EU’s common emission targets. A key standard of the EU’s environmental strategy sets out how the Union should achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Thus, not to produce any greenhouse gas emissions, or to balance them, for example, by planting new trees.

The law was approved by the European Parliament last week, so today’s vote was the last step in the legislative process, the EU Council said on its website. The news will come into force by publication in the Official Journal of the EU.

The law was backed by representatives of all member states except Bulgaria, which abstained from voting, Reuters reported. “The final compromise does not sufficiently reflect our national position,” a spokesman for the Bulgarian government said without further details.

“I warmly welcome this final step towards the adoption of the very first EU climate law, which enshrines in legislation the goal of climate neutrality by 2050. The agreement on a European climate law has been a priority for the Portuguese Presidency and I am pleased that we have brought it to a successful conclusion. , “said João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Minister of the Environment of Portugal, who will chair the negotiations of the EU countries by the end of the month.

The standard translates into a legally binding plan a plan agreed upon by states and MEPs last year. According to him, the Union will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 instead of the originally planned 40 percent by at least 55 percent compared to 1990.

The development of detailed proposals for the path to zero emissions will be up to the European Commission in the coming months and years. It first wants to present in mid-July more ambitious commitments in the share of renewable energy sources or emissions from road transport. The current strategy takes into account the previous lower targets and the new proposal is expected to provoke loud and long discussions between member states and, for example, in the car lobby.

The climate law also requires Brussels to set up an independent expert body to advise on climate policy and a mechanism for calculating the total emissions that the EU can produce between 2030 and 2050 to meet its own targets, Reuters said.