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After the EU member states and the EU Parliament have agreed on binding goals for climate protection with the EU climate law, the EU Commission on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 proposed a comprehensive package of measures with which these goals are to be achieved.

Svenja Schulze
German Environment Minister, Svenja Schulze

The total of 12 legislative proposals are now being discussed by the member states and the EU Parliament.

German Environment Minister, Svenja Schulze, said: “With the EU climate law, the European Union has set itself a binding goal: the EU should be climate-neutral by 2050 and, on the way, reduce its emissions by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. Last year, under the German Council Presidency, it was possible to unite all member states behind these goals. Now we come to the implementation phase.

“The EU Commission presented a comprehensive package of measures today that fits in with our major goals. Climate protection is thus becoming a central European future project. It is about nothing less than a new industrial revolution led by the European Union. Europe is moving ahead and positioning itself as a global engine of innovation.

“Germany is well prepared for the upcoming debates. With my new climate protection law, we have already largely included the new Brussels requirements. That was important because we have no time to lose when it comes to climate protection. The Federal Government will now examine the proposals of the EU Commission thoroughly, but also quickly and constructively. There will certainly be intensive negotiations and we will do our part to ensure that an ambitious, fair and solidarity agreement is reached.

“I will pay particular attention to three aspects in the negotiations: Firstly, the ambition must be right: With all changes to the package, it must be clear that the goal agreed in the climate law will be reliably achieved. Second, it has to be fair and based on solidarity: Lower incomes or structurally weak regions in particular need support on the way to climate neutrality. Climate protection only works if it is done socially. Third, Europe must go this way together. Going it alone nationally does not lead to the goal.

“It is about a coordinated, massive expansion of solar and wind power from the North Sea to the Mediterranean. It is about a network of charging stations on all major roads in Europe and a wave of renovations from Lisbon to Bucharest and from Turku to Catania. Greenhouse gas neutrality is now a matter for all of us.”

Ottmar Edenhofer, climate economist and Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said: “This proposal is a big deal – there’s no turning back now. The EU’s policy package for stabilising our climate is the most comprehensive of its kind to date, and it builds on much that research has developed.

“Europe is creating a second emissions trading scheme, it is for transport and buildings/heat, in addition to the one for power generation and industry. This has fundamental significance for our entire economy: almost all sectors are now covered by carbon pricing.

“The European Union has created a robust comprehensive system of carbon pricing – which is also a prerequisite for the EU to be able to negotiate effectively with the USA and China on more international cooperation to achieve greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Weather extremes around the world clearly illustrate that strong action is key now if we want to limit costs and risks, and secure a safe future for all.”

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