EU champions bold new climate law

The European Commission has proposed a law that would give it far-reaching power to dictate the course of political action on climate change in the European Union.

The draft climate law, unveiled in Brussels on 4 March, would make a legally binding commitment for the EU to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions to net zero by 2050 — which means any emissions would have to be offset by greenhouse-gas uptake, for example by trees or carbon capture and storage technologies.

The new legislation has been designed to underpin the European Green Deal, a set of policies announced by commission president Ursula von der Leyen shortly after she took office in December last year. Von der Leyen has pledged to unlock €1 trillion (US$1.1 trillion) over the next decade for climate action, and to set a more ambitious short-term goal of cutting emissions by 50–55%, relative to 1990 levels, by 2030.

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