On 4 March 2020, the European Commission presented the European Climate Law. As one of the measures taken as part of the European Green Deal, the European Climate Law is a legislative proposal that sets the target of the European Union becoming climate neutral by 2050. ‘Climate neutrality’, often used interchangeably with the term ‘carbon neutrality’, refers to balancing out greenhouse gas emissions with actions that remove these emissions. In particular, the European Climate Law establishes the legislative pathway necessary for achieving this target. This pathway consists of procedures “to keep track of progress and adjust  actions accordingly.” It includes the following measures:
- by 2021, the European Commission aims to review, and revise where adequate, the existing 2030 target for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions;
- by 2023, the Commission will carry out assessments every five years of the progress Member States have made towards achieving the climate objective, and make necessary recommendations which Member States are obliged to take into account;
- EU institutions and Members States are required to expand their existing climate change measures, to further strengthen measures protecting against the adverse effects of climate change.
The Climate Law therefore legally enshrines the responsibility to take climate action in the face of climate change and its consequences. It inscribes itself in the EU’s aim to become the first climate neutral bloc in the world by the middle of the century. This law has been a long-awaited action related to what can be performed collectively in the name of saving the planet and dealing with the effects of climate change. The example set by the EU can be a potential example for other regions all over the world.
Speaking on the European Climate Law, Baran Bozoglu, head of the Ankara-based Climate Change Policy and Research Association, has said that the European Climate Law is an important example for other continents.
“The EU is defined as the third region with the highest greenhouse gas emissions globally after China and the U.S. Therefore, the steps to be taken would be an important development for reducing greenhouse gas emissions around the world.”
European Climate Law, European Parliament, Think Tank, [ONLINE], Available at https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2020)649385 Accessed 26 August 2020
European Climate Law: Europe’s first legally binding proposal, [ONLINE], Available at https://www.aa.com.tr/en/environment/eu-climate-law-europes-first-legally-binding-proposal/1760347 Accessed 26 August 2020
Committing to climate-neutrality by 2050: Commission proposes European Climate Law and consults on the European Climate Pact, [ONLINE], Available at
https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_335 Accessed 26 August 2020
EU climate action and the European Green Deal, [ONLINE], Available at
https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/eu-climate-action_en Accessed 26 August 2020
Written by Maria Papamargariti, Greek and English Philologist, writer in the field of children’s literature.