European Commission Proposes EU Be Climate Neutral by 2050

In a document called the European Climate Law, the European Commission (EC) proposed on March 4 that the European Union (EU) should commit to becoming climate neutral by 2050. No reference was made to f-gas reduction.

The Climate Law proposes a legally binding target of net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, as a collective goal for all member states and EU institutions.

The ambition for the EU to become the first climate-neutral bloc in the world is a cornerstone of the European Green Deal, which was presented by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in December 2019.

Neither the European Climate Law nor the European Green Deal refer to the F-Gas Regulation to reduce climate-warming HFCs, though the latter may do so in the future, according to an EC official.

Eurovent, the European industry association for HVAC, process cooling and food cold chain technologies, has endorsed the European Green Deal.

“We are acting today to make the EU the world’s first climate neutral continent by 2050,” von der Leyen said. “The Climate Law is the legal translation of our political commitment, and sets us irreversibly on the path to a more sustainable future.”

“[The Climate Law] offers predictability and transparency for European industry and investors and it gives direction to our green growth strategy and guarantees that the transition will be gradual and fair,” she added.

The proposed law includes a commitment that the Commission will set a new target for the 2030 GHG emissions reduction goal, which currently stands at 40%, and all relevant policy measures needed to achieve this new goal will be reviewed, and revised if necessary, by June 2021.

It also includes a proposal for the setting of a 2030 to 2050 trajectory for GHG emissions reduction, to enable the measurement of progress and give predictability to authorities, businesses and EU citizens. In September 2023, the Commission will assess the progression of the reductions for the first time, and a new assessment will be carried out every five years thereafter.

The Commission will be empowered to make recommendations to member states whose actions don’t align with the goals and the reductions trajectory. Member states will be “obliged to take due account of these recommendations or to explain their reasoning if they fail to do so,” according to a press release from the Commission.

Member states will also be required to develop and implement strategies for how they will adapt and strengthen their resilience to the effects of climate change.

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