Published: Sun, March 08, 2020
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

European Union aiming for zero emissions by 2050

European Union aiming for zero emissions by 2050

The European Climate Law is a main component of the European Green Deal and enshrines in law the goal of climate-neutrality by 2050, by regularly raising the EU's emissions target.

- By June 2021, the EC will review, and where necessary propose to revise, all relevant policy instruments to achieve the additional emission reductions for 2030.

In order to establish a common trajectory and impose revised objectives on the Member States every five years from 2023, the commission plans to adopt legally binding legislation that can enter into force if the European Parliament and the European Council, the EU body which represents governments, they have no objections.

With headlines filled with news of coronavirus outbreak, little attention has been paid to climate change and the need to save the planet.

The European Commission on Wednesday adopted proposals for Europe's first ever climate law.

"This climate law will set in stone the position of Europe as a climate leader on the global stage", said the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. The Commission plans to make ongoing assessments of whether the European Union as a whole and the individual countries separately are on track to reach the goal and the initiatives needed to do so.

Legal experts say the climate law would give Brussels extra tools to pressure countries before 2030.

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As of now, the Commission is holding the target for 2030 at a 40% reduction compared with 1990.

Any measures that reduce the number of EU ETS allowances in circulation by increasing targets will inevitably mean an increase in the carbon price, leading to higher compliance costs (OPEX) for the electricity sector before 2030.

"The available analysis shows that particularly the increased 2030 targets would necessitate a rapid transition away from coal and massive replacement of power generation capacity in the Polish power system in a very short time-period, due to the drastic increases in Carbon dioxide prices".

"We welcome the insights provided by the European Commission's 2050 long term climate strategy and the European Green Deal, underlining that an energy system based on renewables is the most efficient and cost competitive path to achieve decarbonization across the economy".

In addition, the InvestEU programme aims at leveraging around EUR279bn of private and public investments. The final part, the Just Transition Mechanism (EUR100bn), intends to help the regions and sectors most affected by the green transition and those that now rely heavily on fossil fuels. The funding is only partially through the budget (EUR7.5bn through a fund co-financed by member states), with the reminder depending on contributions from InvestEU and the European Investment bank.

"We don't just need goals for just 2030 or 2050". Such an assessment should be carried out not only at the level of the entire European Union, but also for the individual Member States, and should indicate the total costs of achieving the new objectives and their impact on GDP growth at country level.

The Invest EU programme in no ways stands alone in the effort to channel capital towards green purposes. The Guardian reports that the target will likely come later than September - something that Sebastian Mang, Greenpeace EU climate policy adviser, told Global Citizen would be "too little, too late", leaving the EU turning up to COP26 in Glasgow "empty-handed".

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