The negotiators of the Council and the European Parliament have reached an interim political agreement enshrining in legislation the EU climate neutrality target for 2050 and a collective target to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions (emissions after removals) by at least 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels.
“We are very satisfied with the interim agreement reached today. The European Climate Law is ‘the law of laws’ that establishes the EU’s legislative framework on climate for the next thirty years. The EU is firmly determined to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and today we can be proud to have set an ambitious climate target that can be supported by all. With this agreement we are sending a strong message to the world – just before the leaders’ climate summit on 22 April – and paving the way for the Commission to propose its’ Goal 55 ‘climate package in June, ” João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Minister of the Environment and Climate Action
Regarding the goal for 2030, negotiators have agreed on the need to prioritize reducing emissions over removals. To ensure that sufficient measures are taken to reduce and avoid emissions by 2030, they have introduced a limit of 225 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent to the contribution of removals to the net target. They also agreed that the Union should aim to achieve a higher net carbon sink volume by 2030.
Other aspects of the interim agreement include the creation of a European scientific advisory council on climate change, composed of fifteen high-level scientific experts of different nationalities with a maximum of two members holding the nationality of the same Member State, with terms of four years. This independent council will be responsible, inter alia, for providing scientific advice and reporting on EU action, climate targets, indicative greenhouse gas emission budgets and consistency with European climate legislation. and with the international commitments of the EU in the framework of the Paris Agreement.
Negotiators have agreed that the Commission propose an intermediate climate goal by 2040, if applicable, no later than six months after the first global stocktaking carried out under the Paris Agreement. At the same time, it will present an indicative EU greenhouse gas emissions budget for the period 2030-2050, together with its underlying methodology. The budget is defined as the total indicative volume of net greenhouse gas emissions (expressed in carbon dioxide equivalent and with separate information on emissions and removals) that are expected to be generated in that period without jeopardizing the commitments made by the Union under the Paris Agreement.
Negotiators have also agreed that the Commission collaborates with sectors of the economy that choose to develop voluntary roadmaps indicative to achieve the Union’s climate neutrality target by 2050. The Commission would oversee the development of such roadmaps, facilitate dialogue at EU level and share best practices among stakeholders.
The interim agreement also sets an ambitious target for the EU to strive for negative emissions from 2050.
The provisional political agreement will be submitted to the Council and Parliament for approval before proceeding to the formal phases of the adoption procedure. The provisional agreement has been reached by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council and the representatives of the European Parliament, on the basis of the mandates of their respective institutions.
The next stage will be the text of the agreement.