The EU institutions this week reached a provisional agreement on the European Climate Law which enshrines the EU's commitment to reaching climate neutrality by 2050 and to reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

Executive vice-president Frans Timmermans said: "This is a landmark moment for the EU. We have reached an ambitious agreement to write our climate neutrality target into binding legislation, as a guide to our policies for the next 30 years. 

"The Climate Law will shape the EU's green recovery and ensure a socially just green transition. Today's agreement also reinforces our global position as a leader in tackling the climate crisis.

'Inspire our international partners'

"When world leaders gather on Earth Day, the EU will come to the table with this positive news, which we hope will inspire our international partners. This is a good day for our people and our planet."

In addition to the 2050 climate neutrality target, the deal strengthens the European framework for climate action by introducing the following elements:

  • An ambitious 2030 climate target of at least 55% reduction of net emissions as compared to 1990, with clarity on the contribution of emission reductions and removals;
  • Recognition of the need to enhance the EU's carbon sink through a more ambitious LULUCF regulation, for which the commission will make proposals in June 2021;
  • A process for setting a 2040 climate target, taking into account an indicative greenhouse gas budget for 2030-2050 to be published by the commission;
  • A commitment to negative emissions after 2050;
  • The establishment of European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change, that will provide independent scientific advice;
  • Stronger provisions on adaptation to climate change;
  • Strong coherence across union policies with the climate neutrality objective;
  • A commitment to engage with sectors to prepare sector-specific roadmaps charting the path to climate neutrality in different areas of the economy.