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EU wants right to tighten carbon emission targets every 5 years

By Ramla Soni

The commission will unveil bold legislation committing its member states to abide by regularly revised emission cuts for the next 30 years

Brussels has outlined its desire to impose tighter carbon emission targets on EU governments every five years as Europe strives to become the first continent in the world to reach climate neutrality by 2050.

According to a leaked draft of Brussels’ landmark climate law, seen by the Financial Times, next week the commission will unveil bold legislation committing its member states to abide by regularly revised emission cuts for the next 30 years.

Europe’s 2050 climate law aims to make the EU the world’s largest economic bloc to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 compared with 1990 levels.

In a radical move, Brussels will reserve the power to raise emissions targets every five years from 2030 onwards using a legal instrument where member states and the European Parliament have limited power to object.

Known as a “delegated act”, this type legislation gives Brussels the power to set revised emission targets based on “the best available science”, according to the document. It can only be rejected if a qualified majority of EU governments and MEPs block the proposal within four weeks of it being proposed.

All EU governments, except Poland, committed to the 2050 net zero goal in December last year. However, capitals have been divided over whether to accelerate the pace of cuts by 2030.

The document also sets out the commission’s ambitions beyond 2050. Article 2 of the draft law says while net zero emissions should be achieved “at the latest by 2050”, governments should then strive to achieve “net removals of greenhouse gases thereafter”.

The climate law will be unveiled next Wednesday.

The European Commission has not yet disclosed comment on the matter.

FURTHER READING: Climate change to wipe 3 per cent from global economy by 2050

FURTHER READING: BP aims for carbon net zero by 2050

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