The European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety (ENVI Committee) adopted a comprehensive climate change legislation on Monday, with the aim of achieving climate neutrality in the EU (EU). After reaching a tentative agreement with the European Council on April 20, the 81-member committee adopted the legislation by a vote of 52 to 24. By 2050, the new legislation will provide a legally binding target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, also known as climate neutrality. A climate-neutral EU, according to the European Council, is “a climate-resilient society that is completely adapted to the inevitable impacts of climate change…”
The EU would reduce net emissions by 55 percent from 1990 levels by 2030 to achieve this goal; the previous reduction plan was 40 percent. Since preventing new greenhouse gas emissions would be the EU’s top priority, the removal of only 225 Mt CO2 equivalents of existing greenhouse gases may count against the net reductions target. The bill also establishes the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change, an “independent scientific body” tasked with “assessing policy consistency and monitoring progress.” The board would consist of 15 experts who would serve four-year terms.
Before it may take effect, the legislation must also go through many measures. The law must be officially approved by the European Council and a plenary session of the European Parliament. The ENVI Committee anticipates that the legislation will be approved by the parliament at its late-June plenary session.