Leaked EU Climate Law fails to set the required pace of urgent climate action

Climate action

Today’s leak of the European Climate Law shows the Commission’s intention to set higher climate targets and subject them to a five-year review mechanism, but fails to commit to speed up the proposal to increase the EU’s 2030 climate target. The timely and substantial enhancement of the 2030 target is however key if the EU is to lead by example before this year’s crucial climate conference.

The leaked law appears in sharp contrast to a collective call from 12 EU member states demanding the European Commission to present its 2030 climate target proposal as soon as possible and by June 2020 at the latest to allow EU governments to discuss the target level at the June European Council.

Reacting to the leaked law, Wendel Trio, director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said: “The European Climate Law risks becoming an empty shell as the leaked draft provides no clear roadmap on the EU’s trajectory to reach its agreed 2050 climate neutrality goal, 2030 being the main milestone. By proposing a 2030 target increase only in September, the Commission will give member states no time to reach an agreement by COP26 in November, the international deadline by which all countries must commit to new, ambitious climate pledges for 2030. The EU needs to have its own house in order, and quickly to push other countries to make substantial contributions well before the deadline.”

Trio added: “It is now down to the European Council to act without delay and raise the EU’s climate ambition for 2030 in line with the climate emergency we are facing. For this, it must start discussing the 2030 climate target at the March and June European Council, and ensure that the EU agrees a new target of 65% emissions cuts for the bloc to stay on track with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement. Having it agreed before the EU-China summit in September will provide the EU with a key opportunity to lead by example and create international momentum towards COP 26. If leaders decide to miss the Glasgow deadline, they are willingly undermining the Paris Agreement and betraying all citizens and youth demanding adequate response to prevent climate breakdown.”

In addition, the Council and the European Parliament must improve the law so that it provides for the creation of an independent scientific advisory body, the only guarantee to ensure the EU’s climate targets are based on the latest available science.


Nicolas Derobert, Head of communications, nicolas@caneurope.org, +32 483 62 18 88

Note to editors:

The Commission will publish the European Climate Law, one of the hallmarks of the European Green Deal, tomorrow (Wednesday 4 March). 

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s leading NGO coalition fighting dangerous climate change. With over 160 member organisations from 35 European countries, representing over 1.700 NGOs and more than 47 million citizens, CAN Europe promotes sustainable climate, energy and development policies throughout Europe.