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Today’s historic day. Climate Law is reality. EU will be the first emissions free continent by 2050

Date

24 Jun 2021

Sections

Climate & Environment

Following the overwhelming majority in the European Parliament that has backed today the Climate Law, the Socialists and Democrats welcome this historic result.

Climate Law rapporteur and S&D coordinator in the environment committee, Jytte Guteland, said:

“Today is an historic day. Today, we will enshrine into law that the EU, which started as a coal and steel Union more than 70 years ago, will become the first carbon neutral continent by 2050 at the latest. With this law, the EU maintains its leadership as the region with the most ambitious targets for climate. Whether we like it or not, the climate crisis will be a major issue for the next generations. Our children will judge us upon what kind of future we left them.

“Today, we are all stuck in the fossil economy. The consequences, the heatwaves, the floods and the forest fires are already a reality. Unless we rapidly cut our emissions, the future will be catastrophic. Science is crystal clear on that.

“The vote on Climate Law today is the result of difficult and intense negotiations with the Council and the Commission. We are proud to have increased ambitions on reducing emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. This includes negative emissions, so called sinks. We also got a separate agreement on an increased level of ambition for Europe’s sinks. In practice, this means a 2030 climate target of almost 57%. We are also proud to have agreed on negative emissions after 2050, a new target in 2040, a greenhouse gas budget on the way and a climate advisory board. These are all important wins for the European Parliament and the European citizens we represent.

“It is not a secret that we would have wanted even more ambitions for climate, even sharper targets to 2030 and binding neutrality targets on a member state level. This is the best Climate Law we could hammer out, given the circumstances. But, we are convinced that the Climate Law has the potential to become even more ambitious. The Climate Law is like a new-born baby, with a very strong foundation, that has the potential to grow stronger over time.

“Those who voted against today, voted in favour of the old climate policies. The alternative is not a more ambitious law. They voted against climate neutrality, they voted for much lower targets to 2030 and they voted against the advisory board. It is easy to yell for more from the side, but much harder to take responsibility and make a true difference.”

S&D vice-president responsible for the Green Deal, Mohammed Chahim MEP, added:

“Politics is about working together and being able to compromise when necessary. Now that the 2030 target has been set, and Parliament gave its final approval, we can start the real work!

“We need to plan, invest in green solutions and make sure we have the right technologies in place to achieve that climate neutrality. We are looking forward to the 'Fit for Climate' programme that the Commission will release soon.

“If we successfully reform all existing climate legislation, and provide new sector-specific legislation where needed, we can make this transition to climate neutrality a success for all. And this starts today with Parliament’s final approval of the Climate Law.”

 

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