EU must follow up on climate law with swift and decisive action, says Oxfam

Published: 4th March 2020

The European Commission has tabled a draft climate law today, the centrepiece of its European Green Deal which aims to make the European Union climate neutral by 2050.

Reacting to the news, Oxfam’s EU climate policy expert, Marc-Olivier Herman, said:

“The proposed climate law is a good framework for EU climate action over the next decades. The Commission, national governments and the European Parliament now must enact the law and take swift and decisive action to drastically reduce climate-heating emissions. Otherwise the law will just become another smokescreen masking the EU’s ongoing failure to respond to the climate crisis.

“The climate crisis is affecting millions of the world’s poorest people, right now, and gender inequality means it’s often women who pay the highest price. The next step is for the European Union to agree on an emissions reduction target of at least 65% by 2030, in time for the Glasgow climate conference at the end of the year.

“EU leaders must commit to genuine measures that reduce emissions at home and consider the global impact of their action. If Europe’s path to climate neutrality relies on quick-fix solutions such as offsets or harmful biofuels made from food crops, it risks wrecking the planet in its attempts to protect it. Millions of people in poor countries could be displaced from their land and lose their livelihoods as a result. Decisive action now can prevent this while changing the course of the climate crisis.”

Notes to editors

  • Marc-Olivier Herman is available in Brussels for interviews in English, French and Dutch.
  • The European climate law proposed by the Commission today enshrines the goal of making the EU climate neutral by 2050 into law but fails to set short term reduction targets that would allow to meet that goal.
  • Limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius is essential to achieving sustainable development, and a central part of the European Green Deal is the EU’s climate ambition. The EU’s 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target needs to be significantly revised upward to 65% at the very least. This target should be reached through domestic reductions. Read a recent statement by 14 organisations calling on the EU to make the European Green Deal work for international partnerships.
  • The proposed regulation foresees that the Commission will set out a trajectory to reach the 2050 climate neutrality goal, taking into account – among other elements – cost-effectiveness, competitiveness of the EU’s economy, available technology, energy security, fairness and solidarity between and within member states. The regulation fails to include the global impact and sustainable development goals as important elements to take into consideration.

Contact information

Florian Oel | Brussels | | office +32 2 234 11 15 | mobile +32 473 56 22 60

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