European Council reaches agreement on going carbon neutral by 2050
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European Council reaches agreement on going carbon neutral by 2050

The environmental ministers of the European Council have reached an agreement to make the proposed European Climate Law legally binding, despite leaving out a 2030 emissions reduction target up for debate in December of 2020.

“The EU is firmly committed to becoming climate neutral by 2050,” said the Federal Minister for the Environment of Germany, Svenja Schulze. “While the European Council has announced that it will return to the greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 2030 at its December meeting with a view to agreeing on a new target, I am pleased to announce that … we were able to reach agreement among member states on large parts of the European climate law proposal.”

The proposed law “aims to protect people and the planet, welfare, prosperity, health, food systems, the integrity of ecosystems and biodiversity against the threat of climate change.” It will funnel billions of Euros into annual investments across member states to reshape all sectors, to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Council originally endorsed the law in 2019 to comply with the objective of the Paris Agreement. The proposed law is “part of a broader package of ambitious actions announced in the European Green Deal.”

In September the Commission revised the EU’s emission reduction target to at least 55 percent (compared to 1990 levels) by 2030. As the most controversial part of the proposed law, this target will be negotiated this upcoming December.

The Council agreed Friday that the 2050 climate-neutrality objective “should be pursued by all member states collectively.” It placed special emphasis on the importance of promoting “both fairness and solidarity among member states and cost-effectiveness in achieving the climate neutrality objective.” None of the member states opposed the proposed law, but Bulgaria abstained.