Negotiators of the European Parliament and EU Member States reached a breakthrough early this morning on the so-called Climate Law, which is a main part of the European Green Deal, Europe’s plan to become climate neutral by 2050.
"Today’s agreement is historic. The obligation to become climate neutral is now legally binding for the European Union and it is the first time that climate targets have been agreed by co-decision with the strong involvement of the Parliament. The agreement is very close to the EPP’s position and far away from the unrealistic position of the majority of the Left and the Greens", said Peter Liese MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokesman for Health and Environment.
"55 percent is a very ambitious target. To say it is not overlooks the reality. In the last 30 years, we have reduced 25 percent of greenhouse gases. Now, we have to save an additional 30 percent in the next nine years. This is a huge task that no-one should underestimate", Liese explained.
The EPP Group has three priorities to achieve Europe’s climate neutrality by 2050: saving jobs, relying on market-based measures and supporting carbon sinks like sustainably managed forests. Forests, other vegetation and oceans naturally bind CO2 and can play an important role in preventing carbon emissions going into the atmosphere.
On jobs, Liese stressed that the EU can only lead the world if it keeps industry in Europe. "That’s why it is good that the EPP Group’s amendments on avoiding carbon leakage - supporting SMEs and creating climate partnerships with industries - are part of the Climate Law."
On market-based measures, Liese said that "to achieve climate neutrality we will need market-based incentives such as emissions trading, also for the transport and heating sectors, instead of bans and interdictions."
On the better use of carbon sinks, Liese explained: "It is very important that the target is a net target. The efforts of forest owners, farmers that behave in a climate-friendly manner and modern technologies to reduce CO2 need to be included. We need to work on this part of the climate policy much more than in the past", concluded Liese.
The deal reached early this morning sets the target at 55 percent net. It has however been clarified that the main efforts should come from emissions reduction. The remainder is to be achieved by carbon sinks.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 175 Members from all EU Member States