EU environment ministers partially agree on proposed climate law
Oct. 24, 2020
Brussels, Belgium | XINHUA | European environment ministers reached an agreement on a partial general approach on the proposed European climate law, German Federal Minister for the Environment Svenja Schulze said on Friday.
“I am pleased to announce that today we were able to reach agreement among member states on large parts of the European climate law proposal. It is important that we make as much progress as possible on this key piece of legislation,” said Schulze.
The agreement was reached during an in-person meeting held in Luxembourg. After intense discussion, the ministers agreed that the European Union (EU)-wide 2050 climate-neutrality objective should be pursued by all member states collectively.
It meanwhile stressed the importance of promoting both fairness and solidarity among member states and cost-effectiveness in achieving the climate neutrality objective.
While hailing the progress as a milestone, Schulze said the agreement on Friday does not yet specify an updated 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction target, and the European Council has announced that it will return to the matter at its December meeting.
“Of course, we have to recognize that some member states will achieve climate neutrality earlier than others,” said Frans Timmermans, executive vice president of the European Commission in charge of the European Green Deal.
The EU’s climate chief said the new proposals to be put forward next year will contain appropriate elements to support member states in implementing and achieving the targets.
The European Commission plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared with the 1990 levels, and the European Parliament backs a more ambitious one that will see a 60-percent reduction.
“I stand ready to support negotiations with the European Parliament. Our shared goal under the #EUGreenDeal remains a safe, healthy, and sustainable future for all of us,” Timmermans tweeted after the meeting.
The EU is eager to lead the global climate action, and advocates have been encouraged to see other countries and regions following suit, with China pledging carbon neutrality before 2060 and South Africa transitioning from a system heavily relying on fossil fuel to renewable energies.