European climate law: How to reach climate neutrality?

With its Climate Law, Europe will be the first continent in the world to have a climate neutrality target for 2050. Whilst this will produce a positive environmental impact, it is expected that some sectors will suffer economically with job losses. Other sectors will see a shift in how they produce goods, requiring reskilling and upskilling of the workforce. And some regions will be more affected than others. Trade unions argue that the European Green Deal risks deepening economic and social divisions between member states in the east and west.

The European Commission was criticised by some when it was confirmed the Climate Law would not include an updated overall benchmark for 2030 – currently set at 40% emissions cuts. The Commission’s impact assessment will reportedly try to demonstrate that a 55% cut in emissions will cost the same or close to the 40% target, by updating investment costs in green technologies such as wind turbines, and re-evaluating the costs of building renovations.

Industry groups claim that the EU regulatory framework should not focus on “one-size-fits-all” solutions as this approach could undermine the efficiency of the transition. The new framework should take into account different starting points of member states, and provide them with a range of solutions available to tackle climate change and to protect their economies’ competitiveness, they argue.

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European climate law: How to reach climate neutrality?


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