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Climate Law improves oversight over EU Member States’ climate policy planning

BRUSSELS 4 March 2020. The EU national energy and climate plans (NECPs) will become a key tool to monitor countries’ progress towards climate neutrality by 2050. PlanUp urges the Commission to strengthen the process and ensure effective coordination with the Member States to exploit the full potential of the NECPs. 

Today, the European Commission unveiled its “Climate Law” enshrining in law the EU’s target to become climate-neutral by 2050.

The proposal sets out a trajectory for the EU to reach climate neutrality gradually. This trajectory will be monitored, amongst others, through the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs).

On behalf of the PlanUp project, Agnese Ruggiero, policy officer at Carbon Market Watch said:

We will not magically become climate-neutral 30 years from now without proper planning. It’s good to see that the Commission recognises the need to have a clear trajectory with milestones to climate neutrality and the role the national plans play in it, though early action remains a key priority.

This underlines the need for the member states to keep working on their national plans in an inclusive and transparent fashion and to put forward concrete measures to achieve climate targets. It also means that the process itself must be strengthened in order for the plans to  deliver on their goals sooner rather than later.

Member States will be required to keep planning their climate and energy policies in the framework of the NECPs, while the Commission reviews and adapts the greenhouse gas emission reduction target every 5 years.

The Climate Law sets one clear objective towards which every policy and piece of legislation works. The NECPs will have to be drafted and carefully reviewed with the 2050 target of climate neutrality in mind. The Commission will flag any deviation or underachievement and provide corrective recommendations to the Member States.

This framework allows the Commission to have a full picture of how countries plan to achieve their targets and to provide targeted recommendations both at the EU and national level. It provides a fairly high level of oversight over member states’ policies and measures.

Agnese Ruggiero:

Regular assessments including country-specific recommendations are crucial to ensure that we stay on track to meeting the 2050 goal. Member States should see it as a helpful tool which can support them in achieving their goals.

The Climate Law extends the scope of the Governance Regulation to cover the climate neutrality goal, including for the so-called “multi-level stakeholder dialogues”.

So far, when preparing their national energy and climate plans, governments have not done enough to involve citizens and local and regional authorities.

Agnese Ruggiero:

It’s at the local and regional level where climate action happens and it impacts every one of us’ lives. National governments will need to do much better in involving citizens, regional and local authorities and anyone else interested in taking the decisions that concern them. This is key to ensuring public support for climate policies.

Agnese Ruggiero concludes:

While climate neutrality by 2050 is an important goal, what matters for the climate is the action we take in the short term. The EU’s 2030 target will need to be raised to 65% as soon as possible and the national energy and climate plans will need to reflect this.

The draft will now need to be approved by both the European Parliament and the EU Member States.

Agnese Ruggiero – Policy Officer
[email protected]
Tel: +32 497 81 86 24Kaisa Amaral – Communications Director
[email protected]
Tel: +32 485 07 68 90 

Useful links:

The European Commission proposal for the EU Climate Law
LIFE PlanUp assessments of five draft energy and climate plans: ItalySpainPolandHungaryRomania
LIFE PlanUp reports on how to implement the Commission recommendations in HungaryItalyPoland


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