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What is the European Climate Law?

  • The European Climate Law was published in the Official Journal on 9 July 2021 and entered into force on 29 July 2021.
  • As one of the critical elements of the European Green Deal, the European Climate Law enshrines the EU's commitment to reaching climate neutrality by 2050.

What is included?

  • An EU-wide legal target for climate neutrality by 2050 that binds the EU Institutions and national governments.
  • A 2030 climate target of at least 55% reduction of net emissions as compared to 1990, with clarity on the contribution of emission reductions and removals.
  • Recognition of the need to enhance the EU's carbon sink through more ambitious regulation.
  • A process for setting a 2040 climate target, taking into account an indicative greenhouse gas budget for 2030-2050.
  • A commitment to negative emissions after 2050.
  • The establishment of a European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change that will provide independent scientific advice.
  • A commitment to engage with sectors to prepare sector-specific roadmaps charting the path to climate neutrality in different areas of the economy.

Implementation of the European Climate Law

Under the EU Climate Law, the Commission assessed progress towards the climate neutrality and adaptation objectives in 2023. The findings were published in the 2023 Climate Action Progress Report and a separate Staff Working Document on national progress with implementing adaptation.

What's next?

In response to the requirements of the EU Climate Law, the legislative “Fit for 55 packages” was tabled. Further legislative action and negotiations among Member states will follow.

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