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EU reaches interim agreement on European climate law: carbon neutral target will be incorporated into law

After all night negotiations, in the early hours of April 21, the European Union reached an interim agreement on the European climate law, and the 2050 carbon neutral target will be written into the law.

Under the guidance of the European climate law, the EU will set and implement more stringent greenhouse gas emission targets, and will guide the formulation of other EU regulations in the coming decades, especially automobile emission regulations. However, the current agreement still needs to be formally approved by parliaments and governments.

The European climate law includes an overall goal, that is, by 2030, Europe’s net emissions will be reduced by at least 55% from the 1990 level, replacing the previous goal of 40% reduction, and finally achieving zero net emissions by 2050. By 2019, the EU’s emissions have fallen by 24% from 1990.

Before the all night negotiations, negotiators from the European Parliament and the 27 governments of the European Union had been arguing for months. The European Parliament had hoped to further increase the emission reduction to 60% by 2030. Environmental protection organizations even believe that the emission reduction rate should reach 65%. However, due to the unbalanced economic and social development of EU countries, the reduction of 55% is obviously the result of compromise.

“In order to reach an agreement before the US summit, Brussels (EU) has given up its original ambition.” Michael Bloss, the EU Green MP, said.

Carbon emission is a global hot issue in 2021. After the EU reached an agreement, it was just in time for the world leaders’ climate summit hosted by the US government from April 22 to 23. At that time, the EU and other global powers will jointly promote the commitment to protect the earth.

“This is a landmark moment for the EU,” Frans Timmermans, the EU’s head of climate policy, said in a statement. “Today’s agreement strengthens the EU’s position as a global leader in addressing the climate crisis. “

The carbon neutral target of 2050, if adopted on a global scale, will limit the global temperature to only 1.5 degrees higher than that before industrialization, so as to avoid a worse impact on climate change.

At present, a few countries, including the UK and New Zealand, have written the net zero emission target into the law, but the EU-27 is the largest emission area to achieve this goal.

The proposal of the European climate law was first officially announced by the European Commission on March 4, 2020, which is considered as the core element of the implementation of the “Green New Deal”. Now, once the provisional agreement reached by all parties is formally passed in the European Parliament and the European Council, the European climate law will be recorded in the official journal of the European Union and come into force.

“I’m satisfied today.” Jytte guteland, the Swedish Social Democrat and the European Parliament’s chief negotiator, said, “the most important thing is to ensure that science is more integrated into EU law.”

According to the agreement, the target of CO2 emission reduction by 2030 is 225 million tons, which lays the foundation for a series of emission reduction regulations to be issued by the EU in June. These include reforming the EU carbon trading market, stricter carbon dioxide emission standards for automobiles, and imposing carbon dioxide tariffs on imported polluting products.

The European climate law establishes that the European Union can achieve its climate goals by reducing pollution emissions, rather than relying on the carbon absorption capacity of forests. According to the law, the EU will set up an independent expert body in Brussels to provide advice on climate policy, formulate a budget for greenhouse gas emission reduction, and list the total emissions that the EU can generate during 2030-2050, without hindrance to its climate targets.

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