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European Council adopts the EU’s first climate law

European Council adopts the EU’s first climate law

The new legislation seeks to guarantee climate neutrality by 2050

On Monday 28 June, the European Council announced that it has set into legislation its objective of achieving a climate-neutral EU by 2050. More specifically, it has adopted the European climate law, following an agreement reached with the European Parliament.

The European Union’s first climate law

In a press release by the Council, Minister of Environment and Climate Action João Pedro Matos Fernandes expressed his delight, noting: "I warmly welcome this final step of the adoption of the EU’s very first climate law which enshrines into legislation the 2050 climate neutrality objective. An agreement on the European climate law has been a priority for the Portuguese Presidency and I am glad that we have successfully brought it over the finishing line."

The main goals of the climate law are to guarantee climate neutrality by 2050 and negative emissions after 2050. In addition to this, it further seeks to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990.

An advisory board on climate change will be formed

The European Council is also expected to propose an intermediate climate target for 2040 within six months of its first global stocktake under the Paris Agreement. Then, it also plans to publish a projected indicative greenhouse gas budget for 2030-2050.

Moreover, the newly adopted climate law will establish a European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change. This board will consist of experts who will provide independent scientific advice, produce reports on EU measures and climate targets. Taking this further, it will also produce reports on the aforementioned indicative greenhouse gas budgets and their coherence with the climate law as well as other commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Finally, the European Commission will reportedly work with certain sectors of the economy to outline roadmaps that will contribute towards the achievement of the Union’s climate neutrality goals. It will then share best practices and expedite dialogue at the EU level.

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