The European Climate Law writes into law the goal set out in the European Green Deal for Europe’s economy and society to become climate-neutral by 2050. The law also sets the intermediate target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.
Climate neutrality by 2050 means achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions for EU countries as a whole, mainly by cutting emissions, investing in green technologies and protecting the natural environment.
The law aims to ensure that all EU policies contribute to this goal and that all sectors of the economy and society play their part.
The European Climate Law sets a legally binding target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The EU Institutions and the Member States are bound to take the necessary measures at EU and national level to meet the target, taking into account the importance of promoting fairness and solidarity among Member States.
The Climate Law includes measures to keep track of progress and adjust our actions accordingly, based on existing systems such as the governance process for Member States’ national energy and climate plans, regular reports by the European Environment Agency, and the latest scientific evidence on climate change and its impacts.
Progress will be reviewed every five years, in line with the global stocktake exercise under the Paris Agreement.
The Climate Law also addresses the necessary steps to get to the 2050 target:
The Climate Law includes:
The European Climate Law was published in the Official Journal on 9 July 2021 and entered into force on 29 July 2021.
The Commission conducted extensive analysis and stakeholder consultation in preparation of its strategic vision for a climate-neutral EU published in November 2018. This was followed by an EU-wide debate on the vision.
A high-level public conference on 28 January 2020 provided a further opportunity for open, public stakeholder debate on the European Climate Law before its finalisation and adoption.
The public also had the possibility to provide feedback on the roadmap for the legislative proposal, with nearly 1000 contributions.