Achieving climate neutrality requires structural changes to our economic system, with solutions that work across sectors. Ecologic Institute has developed an assessment matrix based on net zero indicators that can measure climate neutrality, and proposes ways to integrate this framework into existing EU policy processes.
How well is the EU doing in its pursuit of climate neutrality by 2050? Are national long-term strategies and national energy and climate plans up to the task? Are the recovery efforts in line with this goal? Across EU policy, a range of processes are in the process of developing methods to assess progress towards climate neutrality – but there is no integrated set of "net zero indicators" being developed to do the job. And simple greenhouse gas emission data is not enough to judge whether the necessary transition is happening "under the hood" of Europe's economic sectors.
On 4 March 2020 the European Commission published its proposal for a European climate law. The present Commission proposal raises a number of questions, such as what steering effect can the long-term orientation really achieve or will the climate law effectively close existing gaps in the processes of EU climate policy? Together with experts, we have further explored these questions.
With the adoption of the European Green Deal as a new overarching EU strategy, climate policy goals have officially become integrated across EU policy as a whole. The goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050 is at the heart of the European Green Deal – but how will it be operationalized? This project brings together IDDRI, ECF and Ecologic Institute in their aim to enhance transparency of progress towards the net-zero goal and improving long-term climate governance.
2 The European Climate Law – on the road to climate neutrality?
2.1 A new long-term target for the EU (Articles 1 and 2)
2.2 Interim targets for the EU (Article 2)
2.3 Trajectory for achieving climate neutrality (Article 3)
2.4 Compliance (Articles 5 and 6)
2.5 Policy Consistency (Articles 5 and 6)
2.6 Public Participation (Article 8)
3 Which elements are missing?
3.1 Independent scientific advisory body
3.2 Quantified EU emission budget until 2050
3.3 Specifying sinks, priority for restoring natural sinks
3.4 Review the 2050 target and the EU Long-Term Strategy
Climate law, climate rules, climate policy, EU, European Union, Carbon neutral, climate neutral, renewable energies, energy efficiency, transformation, decarbonisation, Paris Agreement, European Parliament, European Commission, legislation, legal acts, legal text, CO2 footprint, climate target, governance regulation, energy union