The European Parliament today approved the European Climate Law, meaning that the final hurdle for it to enter into force is for the final text of the bill to be adopted by the Council of the European Union; this can happen as early as the second half of this year.
The vote by MEPs from the 27 Member States confirmed the agreement reached by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU and the European Parliament’s team of negotiators in April. The law passed with 442 yes votes, 203 nay votes and 51 abstentions.
Completing the legislative process for the European Climate Law, which sets a goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 and provides for a reduction of 55% in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (in relation to 1990 levels), was one of the priorities of the Portuguese Presidency.
The aim of the law, which the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, described as the “law of laws” and as being of fundamental importance for achieving the European Green Deal, is to make Europe the first carbon-neutral continent.
In the debate that preceded the vote, the Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs, Ana Paula Zacarias, emphasised that a vote for the European Climate Law by the European Parliament was the beginning of a European journey “towards a more sustainable future”. She added that the agreement that has been reached “sends a clear signal to the citizens of Europe and the world that the EU is seriously committed to combating climate change”.