The European Council on Monday announced the adoption of the European climate law, setting into legislation the EU goal to reach climate neutrality by 2050.

The climate law is a centerpiece of the European Green Deal, the EU strategy to transform the region into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, through a package of measures ranging from ambitiously cutting greenhouse gas emissions, to investing in cutting-edge research and innovation, to preserving Europe’s natural environment.

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In addition to the 2050 target, the new legislation also sets a binding EU climate goal to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990. The 2030 target was initially proposed in September 2020 by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, raising the EU ambition from its prior 40% by 2030 goal, with the new level putting the region on track for 2050 climate neutrality.

The new law also establishes a European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change, which will provide independent scientific advice and produce reports on EU measures, climate targets and indicative GHG budgets and their coherence with the European climate law and the EU’s international commitments under the Paris Agreement.

João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Minister of Environment and Climate Action, said:

“I warmly welcome this final step of the adoption of the EU’s very first climate law which enshrines into legislation the 2050 climate neutrality objective. An agreement on the European climate law has been a priority for the Portuguese Presidency and I am glad that we have successfully brought it over the finishing line.”