EU secures deal on climate law to speed up emissions cuts

Deal aims to reduce net emissions by 55% by the end of the decade

EU agreement                                 

The European Union has secured a deal on a climate change law that puts new, tougher greenhouse-gas emissions targets at the core of all EU policymaking.    

The European climate law, which will guide the bloc's regulations in the coming decades, will include a target to reduce net emissions by at least 55% by the end of the decade from levels in 1990, to help it reach its net zero emissions target by 2050.

The target replaces a previous goal to cut emissions by at least 40% by 2030. By 2019, EU emissions were already 24% lower than in 1990. EU lawmakers had wanted to go further to 60% by 2030 while green campaigners argued the cut should be 65%.

Limiting environmental damage

If the law is adopted globally, the goal of net zero by 2050 would limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels and avoid the worst effects of climate change.

"This is a landmark moment for the EU," the bloc's climate policy chief Frans Timmermans said in a statement. "Today's agreement also reinforces our global position as a leader in tackling the climate crisis."

The law requires Brussels to create a separate body of scientific experts to advise on climate policies, and a greenhouse-gas budget laying out the total permissible emissions from 2030-2050, without getting in the way of its climate goals.

The deal still needs formal approval from the EU parliament and national governments.

READ MORE: Global CO2 emissions from energy to rise 5%, IEA projects

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