Following the presentation of the Climate Law by the President of the Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen and Executive Vice-President, Frans Timmermans, the Group of Socialists and Democrats welcomes the commitment to introduce into EU legislation the historic decision to achieve climate neutrality in the Union by 2050. The Climate Law constitutes a framework that will ensure future EU actions and Member States’ measures comply with the 2050 target. This is an important step in the right direction.
We acknowledge the commitment of the Commission to assess the impact of a higher target for 2030, however, this is not enough. The Climate Law needs to set the intermediary targets we need. We expected the Commission proposal to be more ambitious, by setting concrete intermediate targets for 2030 and 2040. Legally binding national and EU-wide intermediate targets would have allowed Member States, industry and stakeholders to adopt new measures and investments in line with the objective of carbon neutrality.
The Socialists and Democrats will be at the fore of the fight to strengthen the legal framework that is required and to ensure that an adequate and effective Climate Law is adopted before the COP26 Summit in Glasgow.
S&D Environment Committee Coordinator and Climate law rapporteur, Jytte Guteland, commented:
“The Climate Law is a chance for Europe to take a historic step in our development and transition to becoming a climate-neutral continent. But it will only become what we make of it and now it is important that the European Parliament strengthens the Commission's proposal. In order to be in line with the Paris Agreement the EU must commit to cutting Greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 % by 2030 and this target needs to be enshrined in the Climate Law. This is crucial for our climate efforts but also to give markets a clear and stable trajectory for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
“As Rapporteur, it will be a priority for me to ensure that the Climate Law is based on the principle of social fairness and solidarity for all of Europe's citizens. This requires that all actors take their responsibility. In order for the Climate Law to be successful, all sectors of the economy and all EU Member States must commit themselves to reaching the common goal of becoming climate-neutral.”
S&D vice-president responsible for the European Green Deal, Miriam Dalli, stated:
“The Climate Law is a crucial legislative measure the EU will adopt to tackle climate change and to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. However, this cannot be merely a window-dressing exercise. We acknowledge the efforts of Vice President Timmermans, to meet citizens’ expectations, yet we wanted a more courageous and ambitious text from the Commission. Binding national and EU intermediate targets, clear and a transparent mechanism of progress assessments and monitoring, remain vital to provide Member States, industry and stakeholders long-term guidance on the adjustments and strategic investments needed to meet the 2050 target.
"All productive sectors, all citizens should be involved and contribute to turn the European Green Deal not only into a great opportunity for sustainable development, but also a fair and just transition leaving no region, worker, or citizen behind.
"At the COP26 Summit later this year, the EU will have to demonstrate its seriousness in advocating for climate change action. This will only be possible if the EU has already adopted a binding, bold and credible Climate Law. We will fight for nothing less."