Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the European Climate Law sets the 2050 target and the “direction of travel” for all EU policy and offers predictability and transparency for European industry and investors.
“We are acting today to make the EU the world's first climate neutral continent by 2050,” she said in a statement.
The Commission is proposing a legally binding target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The EU institutions and the member states are collectively bound to take measures to meet the target.
In a background document published today the Commission said the law sets in legislation the EU’s objective to become climate-neutral by 2050, by cutting emissions and increasing the removals of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere to reach net-zero emissions.
It includes measures to keep track of progress, which will be reviewed every five years in line with the global “stocktake exercise” under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The Commission said it will start the process of meeting the 2050 net-zero target by carrying out a comprehensive impact assessment, and proposing a new 2030 EU target for greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The Climate Law will be amended once the impact assessment is completed.
By June 2021, the Commission will review and propose to revise policy instruments to achieve the additional emissions reductions for 2030.
The Commission also launched today a public consultation on a new European climate pact, a broad initiative to give citizens a voice and role in designing new climate action.
The public consultation will be open for 12 weeks and the pact will be launched before the United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place in Glasgow in November 2020 (COP26).