EU wants political influence with three climate laws

EU wants political influence with three climate laws

The European Union plans three new climate laws to combat climate change. EU officials hope they will reach agreements on these climate laws during the annual United Nations climate talks next month. Among other, with these legal proposals, the EU hopes to increase its political influence at the talks.

At previous U.N. COP26 talks, nearly 200 countries agreed to upgrade their climate pledges by this year’s summit. They were optimistic that will succeed to bridge the gap between their plans and the much faster reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Faster reduction of greenhouse gasses supposes to avert catastrophic climate change.

Meeting climate targets… and more

But, hopes and reality do not always go hand in hand. Only about a dozen countries have succeeded to reduce greenhouse emissions last twelve months. Two weeks before the COP27 summit in Egypt, 27 member states of the EU today are debating whether to commit to raising their own climate targets. The perspective to reach an agreement is lower than low though countries disagree on two points. First, they disagree if they should set bolder rules by a specific date. And, second, they disagree if they should do that at all.

Meanwhile, the EU has accepted to quicken negotiations on three emissions-cutting laws in order to arrive at the United Nations summit with newly ambitious climate policies, according to EU officials.

According to EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans, the EU can only build bridges if it’s seen as a bridge builder itself.

What do new climate laws offer?

Fast-tracked policies include a ban on new fossil-fuel car sales in the EU by 2035, the expansion of Europe’s natural CO2-absorbing “sinks,” such as forests, and the establishment of binding national emissions-cutting targets.

They are part of a larger policy package that is under negotiations between EU countries and the European Parliament. The goal is to achieve the bloc’s overall target of reducing net emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

According to EU lawmakers, the CO2 sinks law, in particular, is seen as a backdoor way of raising the EU’s climate target. If implemented, it could reduce countries’ overall net emissions by 57%.

Ville Niinisto, Parliament’s law negotiator, stated that reaching an agreement before COP27 would demonstrate that the EU will do more than it promised.