Feedback period: 31 March 2023 – 23 June 2023 (midnight Brussels time)
Problem the initiative aims to tackle:
The EU has set out its climate targets for 2030 and 2050, and is agreeing and setting in motion the policy
measures needed to meet the 2030 target and accelerate emissions reductions. Considering the nature of the transformation, the time and extent of policy and economic decisions and the importance of avoiding carbon lockin, a clear GHG reduction path beyond 2030 towards the 2050 climate neutrality objective is needed. Setting a 2040 target for EU GHG reductions will impact many economic sectors and territories in the EU. It may require policy responses in many fields beyond climate policy, such as social and labour market policies. Energy will play a central role in this process as its production and use (including by households,industry, services and transport, including maritime and aviation) account for more than 75% of total emissions. Agriculture, waste and industry also generate significant amounts of non-CO2 emissions. The EU’s land use sector (agriculture land, forests and other natural land) is presently a net sink of CO2, meaning that it removes more CO2 from the atmosphere than it releases GHGs.
The European Climate Law (Article 4) calls on the Commission to make a proposal to set an intermediate Unionwide climate target for 2040 with a view to achieving the climate neutrality objective by 2050 and to publish a report on the projected indicative GHG budget4
for 2030-2050. This initiative aims at proposing the 2040 climate target, in view of an amendment to the European Climate Law.
The proposed target will be crucial in sending a clear signal to stakeholders on the way forward. It will strengthen certainty and predictability for political choices and investment decisions. It will be the corner stone of the future preparation of the post-2030 policy framework to ensure that the EU’s GHG emissions actually decrease towards climate neutrality by 2050. Without a 2040 climate target, the EU would be at risk of missing its domestic climate objective for 2050 and possibly undermine its capacity to spur climate action internationally. The Paris agreement
also calls for a regular update of parties’ nationally-determined contributions to increase collective global climate ambition. The initiative should also foster international climate action and assist the EU in boosting international coalitions towards meeting the Paris Agreement’s climate objectives.