Legal provisions of COM(2020)80 - Framework for achieving climate neutrality and amending Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 (European Climate Law)

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Article 1

Subject matter and scope

This Regulation establishes a framework for the irreversible and gradual reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by sources and enhancement of removals by sinks regulated in Union law.

This Regulation sets out a binding objective of climate neutrality in the Union by 2050 in pursuit of the long-term temperature goal set out in point (a) of Article 2(1) of the Paris Agreement, and provides a framework for achieving progress in pursuit of the global adaptation goal established in Article 7 of the Paris Agreement. This Regulation also sets out a binding Union target of a net domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for 2030.

This Regulation applies to anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of the greenhouse gases listed in Part 2 of Annex V to Regulation (EU) 2018/1999.

Article 2

Climate-neutrality objective

1. Union-wide greenhouse gas emissions and removals regulated in Union law shall be balanced within the Union at the latest by 2050, thus reducing emissions to net zero by that date, and the Union shall aim to achieve negative emissions thereafter.

2. The relevant Union institutions and the Member States shall take the necessary measures at Union and national level, respectively, to enable the collective achievement of the climate-neutrality objective set out in paragraph 1, taking into account the importance of promoting both fairness and solidarity among Member States and cost-effectiveness in achieving this objective.

Article 3

Scientific advice on climate change

1. The European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change established under Article 10a of Regulation (EC) No 401/2009 (the ‘Advisory Board’) shall serve as a point of reference for the Union on scientific knowledge relating to climate change by virtue of its independence and scientific and technical expertise.

2. The tasks of the Advisory Board shall include:

(a) considering the latest scientific findings of the IPCC reports and scientific climate data, in particular with regard to information relevant to the Union;

(b) providing scientific advice and issuing reports on existing and proposed Union measures, climate targets and indicative greenhouse gas budgets, and their coherence with the objectives of this Regulation and the Union’s international commitments under the Paris Agreement;

(c) contributing to the exchange of independent scientific knowledge in the field of modelling, monitoring, promising research and innovation which contribute to reducing emissions or increasing removals;

(d) identifying actions and opportunities needed to successfully achieve the Union climate targets;

(e) raising awareness on climate change and its impacts, as well as stimulating dialogue and cooperation between scientific bodies within the Union, complementing existing work and efforts.

3. The Advisory Board shall be guided in its work by the best available and most recent scientific evidence, including the latest reports of the IPCC, IPBES and other international bodies. It shall follow a fully transparent process and make its reports publicly available. It may take into account, where available, the work of the national climate advisory bodies referred to in paragraph 4.

4. In the context of enhancing the role of science in the field of climate policy, each Member State is invited to establish a national climate advisory body, responsible for providing expert scientific advice on climate policy to the relevant national authorities as prescribed by the Member State concerned. Where a Member State decides to establish such an advisory body, it shall inform the EEA thereof.

Article 4

Intermediate Union climate targets

1. In order to reach the climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1), the binding Union 2030 climate target shall be a domestic reduction of net greenhouse gas emissions (emissions after deduction of removals) by at least 55 % compared to 1990 levels by 2030.

When implementing the target referred to in the first subparagraph, the relevant Union institutions and the Member States shall prioritise swift and predictable emission reductions and, at the same time, enhance removals by natural sinks.

In order to ensure that sufficient mitigation efforts are deployed up to 2030, for the purpose of this Regulation and without prejudice to the review of Union legislation referred to in paragraph 2, the contribution of net removals to the Union 2030 climate target shall be limited to 225 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. In order to enhance the Union’s carbon sink in line with the objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050, the Union shall aim to achieve a higher volume of its net carbon sink in 2030.

2. By 30 June 2021, the Commission shall review relevant Union legislation in order to enable the achievement of the target set out in paragraph 1 of this Article and the climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1) and consider taking the necessary measures, including the adoption of legislative proposals, in accordance with the Treaties.

Within the framework of the review referred to in the first subparagraph and future reviews, the Commission shall assess in particular the availability under Union law of adequate instruments and incentives to mobilise the investments needed, and propose measures as necessary.

From the adoption of the legislative proposals by the Commission, it shall monitor the legislative procedures for the different proposals and may report to the European Parliament and to the Council on whether the foreseen outcome of those legislative procedures, considered together, would achieve the target set out in paragraph 1. If the foreseen outcome would not deliver a result in line with the target set out in paragraph 1, the Commission may take the necessary measures, including the adoption of legislative proposals, in accordance with the Treaties.

3. With a view to achieving the climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1) of this Regulation, a Union-wide climate target for 2040 shall be set. To that end, at the latest within six months of the first global stocktake referred to in Article 14 of the Paris Agreement, the Commission shall make a legislative proposal, as appropriate, based on a detailed impact assessment, to amend this Regulation to include the Union 2040 climate target, taking into account the conclusions of the assessments referred to in Articles 6 and 7 of this Regulation and the outcomes of the global stocktake.

4. When making its legislative proposal for the Union 2040 climate target as referred to in paragraph 3, the Commission shall, at the same time, publish in a separate report the projected indicative Union greenhouse gas budget for the 2030-2050 period, defined as the indicative total volume of net greenhouse gas emissions (expressed as CO2 equivalent and providing separate information on emissions and removals) that are expected to be emitted in that period without putting at risk the Union’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. The projected indicative Union greenhouse gas budget shall be based on the best available science, take into account the advice of the Advisory Board as well as, where adopted, the relevant Union legislation implementing the Union 2030 climate target. The Commission shall also publish the methodology underlying the projected indicative Union greenhouse gas budget.

5. When proposing the Union 2040 climate target in accordance with paragraph 3, the Commission shall consider the following:

(a) the best available and most recent scientific evidence, including the latest reports of the IPCC and the Advisory Board;

(b) the social, economic and environmental impacts, including the costs of inaction;

(c) the need to ensure a just and socially fair transition for all;

(d) cost-effectiveness and economic efficiency;

(e) competiveness of the Union’s economy, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises and sectors most exposed to carbon leakage;

(f) best available cost-effective, safe and scalable technologies;

(g) energy efficiency and the ‘energy efficiency first’ principle, energy affordability and security of supply;

(h) fairness and solidarity between and within Member States;

(i) the need to ensure environmental effectiveness and progression over time;

(j) the need to maintain, manage and enhance natural sinks in the long term and protect and restore biodiversity;

(k) investment needs and opportunities;

(l) international developments and efforts undertaken to achieve the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement and the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC;

(m) existing information on the projected indicative Union greenhouse gas budget for the 2030-2050 period referred to in paragraph 4.

6. Within six months of the second global stocktake referred to in Article 14 of the Paris Agreement, the Commission may propose to revise the Union 2040 climate target in accordance with Article 11 of this Regulation.

7. The provisions of this Article shall be kept under review in light of international developments and efforts undertaken to achieve the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement, including with regard to the outcomes of international discussions on common time frames for nationally determined contributions.

Article 5

Adaptation to climate change

1. The relevant Union institutions and the Member States shall ensure continuous progress in enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change in accordance with Article 7 of the Paris Agreement.

2. The Commission shall adopt a Union strategy on adaptation to climate change in line with the Paris Agreement and shall regularly review it in the context of the review provided for in point (b) of Article 6(2) of this Regulation.

3. The relevant Union institutions and the Member States shall also ensure that policies on adaptation in the Union and in Member States are coherent, mutually supportive, provide co-benefits for sectoral policies, and work towards better integration of adaptation to climate change in a consistent manner in all policy areas, including relevant socioeconomic and environmental policies and actions, where appropriate, as well as in the Union’s external action. They shall focus, in particular, on the most vulnerable and impacted populations and sectors, and identify shortcomings in this regard in consultation with civil society.

4. Member States shall adopt and implement national adaptation strategies and plans, taking into consideration the Union strategy on adaptation to climate change referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article and based on robust climate change and vulnerability analyses, progress assessments and indicators, and guided by the best available and most recent scientific evidence. In their national adaptation strategies, Member States shall take into account the particular vulnerability of the relevant sectors, inter alia, agriculture, and of water and food systems, as well as food security, and promote nature-based solutions and ecosystem-based adaptation. Member States shall regularly update the strategies and include the related updated information in the reports to be submitted under Article 19(1) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1999.

5. By 30 July 2022, the Commission shall adopt guidelines setting out common principles and practices for the identification, classification and prudential management of material physical climate risks when planning, developing, executing and monitoring projects and programmes for projects.

Article 6

Assessment of Union progress and measures

1. By 30 September 2023, and every five years thereafter, the Commission shall assess, together with the assessment provided for under Article 29(5) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1999:

(a) the collective progress made by all Member States towards the achievement of the climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1) of this Regulation;

(b) the collective progress made by all Member States on adaptation as referred to in Article 5 of this Regulation.

The Commission shall submit the conclusions of that assessment, together with the State of the Energy Union report prepared in the respective calendar year in accordance with Article 35 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1999, to the European Parliament and to the Council.

2. By 30 September 2023, and every five years thereafter, the Commission shall review:

(a) the consistency of Union measures with the climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1);

(b) the consistency of Union measures with ensuring progress on adaptation as referred to in Article 5.

3. Where, based on the assessments referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article, the Commission finds that Union measures are inconsistent with the climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1) or inconsistent with ensuring progress on adaptation as referred to in Article 5, or that the progress towards that climate-neutrality objective or on adaptation as referred to in Article 5 is insufficient, it shall take the necessary measures in accordance with the Treaties.

4. The Commission shall assess the consistency of any draft measure or legislative proposal, including budgetary proposals, with the climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1) and the Union 2030 and 2040 climate targets before adoption, and include that assessment in any impact assessment accompanying these measures or proposals, and make the result of that assessment publicly available at the time of adoption. The Commission shall also assess whether those draft measures or legislative proposals, including budgetary proposals, are consistent with ensuring progress on adaptation as referred to in Article 5. When making its draft measures and legislative proposals, the Commission shall endeavour to align them with the objectives of this Regulation. In any case of non-alignment, the Commission shall provide the reasons as part of the consistency assessment referred to in this paragraph.

Article 7

Assessment of national measures

1. By 30 September 2023, and every five years thereafter, the Commission shall assess:

(a) the consistency of national measures identified, on the basis of the integrated national energy and climate plans, national long-term strategies and the biennial progress reports submitted in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2018/1999, as relevant for the achievement of the climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1) of this Regulation with that objective;

(b) the consistency of relevant national measures with ensuring progress on adaptation as referred to in Article 5, taking into account the national adaptation strategies referred to in Article 5(4).

The Commission shall submit the conclusions of that assessment, together with the State of the Energy Union report prepared in the respective calendar year in accordance with Article 35 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1999, to the European Parliament and to the Council.

2. Where the Commission finds, after due consideration of the collective progress assessed in accordance with Article 6(1), that a Member State’s measures are inconsistent with the climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1) or inconsistent with ensuring progress on adaptation as referred to in Article 5, it may issue recommendations to that Member State. The Commission shall make such recommendations publicly available.

3. Where recommendations are issued in accordance with paragraph 2, the following principles shall apply:

(a) the Member State concerned shall, within six months of receipt of the recommendations, notify the Commission on how it intends to take due account of the recommendations in a spirit of solidarity between Member States and the Union and between Member States;

(b) after the submission of the notification referred to in point (a) of this paragraph, the Member State concerned shall set out, in its following integrated national energy and climate progress report submitted in accordance with Article 17 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1999, in the year following the year in which the recommendations were issued, how it has taken due account of the recommendations; if the Member State concerned decides not to address the recommendations or a substantial part thereof, that Member State shall provide the Commission its reasoning;

(c) the recommendations shall be complementary to the latest country-specific recommendations issued in the context of the European Semester.

Article 8

Common provisions on Commission assessment

1. The Commission shall base its first and second assessments referred to in Articles 6 and 7 on an indicative, linear trajectory which sets out the pathway for the reduction of net emissions at Union level and which links the Union 2030 climate target referred to in Article 4(1), the Union 2040 climate target, when adopted, and the climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1).

2. Following the first and second assessments referred to in paragraph 1, the Commission shall base any subsequent assessment on an indicative, linear trajectory linking the Union 2040 climate target, when adopted, and the climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1).

3. In addition to the national measures referred to in point (a) of Article 7(1), the Commission shall base its assessments referred to in Articles 6 and 7 on at least the following:

(a) information submitted and reported under Regulation (EU) 2018/1999;

(b) reports of the EEA, the Advisory Board and the Commission’s Joint Research Centre;

(c) European and global statistics and data, including statistics and data from the European Earth Observation Programme Copernicus, data on reported and projected losses from adverse climate impacts and estimates on the costs of inaction or delayed action, where available;

(d) the best available and most recent scientific evidence, including the latest reports of the IPCC, IPBES and other international bodies; and

(e) any supplementary information on environmentally sustainable investment by the Union or by Member States, including, when available, investment consistent with Regulation (EU) 2020/852.

4. The EEA shall assist the Commission in the preparation of the assessments referred to in Articles 6 and 7, in accordance with its annual work programme.

Article 9

Public participation

1. The Commission shall engage with all parts of society to enable and empower them to take action towards a just and socially fair transition to a climate-neutral and climate-resilient society. The Commission shall facilitate an inclusive and accessible process at all levels, including at national, regional and local level and with social partners, academia, the business community, citizens and civil society, for the exchange of best practice and to identify actions to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of this Regulation. The Commission may also draw on the public consultations and on the multilevel climate and energy dialogues as set up by Member States in accordance with Articles 10 and 11 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1999.

2. The Commission shall use all appropriate instruments, including the European Climate Pact, to engage citizens, social partners and stakeholders, and foster dialogue and the diffusion of science-based information about climate change and its social and gender equality aspects.

Article 10

Sectoral roadmaps

The Commission shall engage with sectors of the economy within the Union that choose to prepare indicative voluntary roadmaps towards achieving the climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1). The Commission shall monitor the development of such roadmaps. Its engagement shall involve the facilitation of dialogue at Union level, and the sharing of best practice among relevant stakeholders.

Article 11

Review

Within six months of each global stocktake referred to in Article 14 of the Paris Agreement, the Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and to the Council, together with the conclusions of the assessments referred to in Articles 6 and 7 of this Regulation, on the operation of this Regulation, taking into account:

(a) the best available and most recent scientific evidence, including the latest reports of the IPCC and the Advisory Board;

(b) international developments and efforts undertaken to achieve the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement.

The Commission’s report may be accompanied, where appropriate, by legislative proposals to amend this Regulation.

Article 12

Amendments to Regulation (EC) No 401/2009

Regulation (EC) No 401/2009 is amended as follows:

(1) the following article is inserted:

‘Article 10a

1. A European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change (the “Advisory Board”) is hereby established.

2. The Advisory Board shall be composed of 15 senior scientific experts covering a broad range of relevant disciplines. Members of the Advisory Board shall meet the criteria set out in paragraph 3. No more than two members of the Advisory Board shall hold the nationality of the same Member State. The independence of the members of the Advisory Board shall be beyond doubt.

3. The Management Board shall designate the members of the Advisory Board for a term of four years, which shall be renewable once, following an open, fair and transparent selection procedure. In its selection of the members of the Advisory Board, the Management Board shall seek to ensure a varied disciplinary and sectoral expertise, as well as gender and geographical balance. The selection shall be based on the following criteria:

(a) scientific excellence;

(b) experience in carrying out scientific assessments and providing scientific advice in the fields of expertise;

(c) broad expertise in the field of climate and environment sciences or other scientific fields relevant for the achievement of the Union’s climate objectives;

(d) professional experience in an inter-disciplinary environment in an international context.

4. The members of the Advisory Board shall be appointed in a personal capacity and shall give their positions completely independently of the Member States and the Union institutions. The Advisory Board shall elect its chairperson from among its members for a period of four years and it shall adopt its rules of procedure.

5. The Advisory Board shall complement the work of the Agency while acting independently in discharging its tasks. The Advisory Board shall establish its annual work programme independently, and when doing so it shall consult the Management Board. The chairperson of the Advisory Board shall inform the Management Board and the Executive Director of that programme and its implementation.’;

(2) in Article 11, the following paragraph is added:

‘5.   The Agency’s budget shall also include the expenditure relating to the Advisory Board.’.

Article 13

Amendments to Regulation (EU) 2018/1999

Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 is amended as follows:

(1) in Article 1(1), point (a) is replaced by the following:

‘(a) implement strategies and measures designed to meet the objectives and targets of the Energy Union and the long-term Union greenhouse gas emissions commitments consistent with the Paris Agreement, in particular the Union’s climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1) of Regulation (EU) 2021/1119 of the European Parliament and of the Council (*1), and, for the first ten-year period, from 2021 to 2030, in particular the Union’s 2030 targets for energy and climate;

(*1)  Regulation (EU) 2021/1119 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 June 2021 establishing the framework for achieving climate neutrality and amending Regulations (EC) No 401/2009 and (EU) 2018/1999 (“European Climate Law”) (OJ L 243, 9.7.2021, p. 1).’;"

(2) in Article 2, point (7) is replaced by the following:

‘(7) “projections” means forecasts of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks or developments of the energy system, including at least quantitative estimates for a sequence of six future years ending with 0 or 5, immediately following the reporting year;’;

(3) in Article 3(2), point (f) is replaced by the following:

‘(f) an assessment of the impacts of the planned policies and measures to meet the objectives referred to in point (b) of this paragraph, including their consistency with the Union’s climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1) of Regulation (EU) 2021/1119, the long-term greenhouse gas emission reduction objectives under the Paris Agreement and the long-term strategies as referred to in Article 15 of this Regulation;’;

(4) in Article 8(2), the following point is added:

‘(e) the manner in which existing policies and measures and planned policies and measures contribute to the achievement of the Union’s climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1) of Regulation (EU) 2021/1119.’;

(5) Article 11 is replaced by the following:

‘Article 11

Multilevel climate and energy dialogue

Each Member State shall establish a multilevel climate and energy dialogue pursuant to national rules, in which local authorities, civil society organisations, business community, investors and other relevant stakeholders and the general public are able actively to engage and discuss the achievement of the Union’s climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1) of Regulation (EU) 2021/1119 and the different scenarios envisaged for energy and climate policies, including for the long term, and review progress, unless it already has a structure which serves the same purpose. Integrated national energy and climate plans may be discussed within the framework of such a dialogue.’;

(6) Article 15 is amended as follows:

(a) paragraph 1 is replaced by the following:

‘1.   By 1 January 2020, and subsequently by 1 January 2029 and every 10 years thereafter, each Member State shall prepare and submit to the Commission its long-term strategy with a 30-year perspective and consistent with the Union’s climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1) of Regulation (EU) 2021/1119. Member States should, where necessary, update those strategies every five years.’;

(b) in paragraph 3, point (c) is replaced by the following:

‘(c) achieving long-term greenhouse gas emission reductions and enhancements of removals by sinks in all sectors in accordance with the Union’s climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1) of Regulation (EU) 2021/1119, in the context of necessary greenhouse gas emission reductions and enhancements of removals by sinks according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to reduce the Union’s greenhouse gas emissions in a cost-effective manner and enhance removals by sinks in pursuit of the long-term temperature goal in the Paris Agreement so as to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases within the Union and, as appropriate, achieve negative emissions thereafter;’;

(7) Article 17 is amended as follows:

(a) in paragraph 2, point (a) is replaced by the following:

‘(a) information on the progress accomplished towards reaching the objectives, including progress towards the Union’s climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1) of Regulation (EU) 2021/1119, targets and contributions set out in the integrated national energy and climate plan, and towards financing and implementing the policies and measures necessary to meet them, including a review of actual investment against initial investment assumptions;’;

(b) in paragraph 4, the first subparagraph is replaced by the following:

‘The Commission, assisted by the Energy Union Committee referred to in point (b) of Article 44(1), shall adopt implementing acts to set out the structure, format, technical details and process for the information referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article, including a methodology for the reporting on the phasing out of energy subsidies, in particular for fossil fuels, pursuant to point (d) of Article 25.’;

(8) in Article 29(1), point (b) is replaced by the following:

‘(b) the progress made by each Member State towards meeting its objectives, including progress towards the Union’s climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1) of Regulation (EU) 2021/1119, targets and contributions and implementing the policies and measures set out in its integrated national energy and climate plan;’;

(9) Article 45 is replaced by the following:

‘Article 45

Review

The Commission shall report to the European Parliament and to the Council within six months of each global stocktake agreed under Article 14 of the Paris Agreement on the operation of this Regulation, its contribution to governance of the Energy Union, its contribution to the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, progress towards the achievement of the 2030 climate and energy targets and the Union’s climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1) of Regulation (EU) 2021/1119, additional Energy Union objectives and the conformity of the planning, reporting and monitoring provisions laid down in this Regulation with other Union law or decisions relating to the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement. The Commission reports may be accompanied by legislative proposals where appropriate.’;

(10) Part 1 of Annex I is amended as follows:

(a) in point 3.1.1 of Section A, point (i) is replaced by the following:

‘i.Policies and measures to achieve the target set under Regulation (EU) 2018/842 as referred to in point 2.1.1 of this Section and policies and measures to comply with Regulation (EU) 2018/841, covering all key emitting sectors and sectors for the enhancement of removals, with an outlook to the Union’s climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1) of Regulation (EU) 2021/1119’;

(b) in Section B, the following point is added:

‘5.5.The contribution of planned policies and measures to the achievement of the Union’s climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1) of Regulation (EU) 2021/1119’;

(11) in point (c) of Annex VI, point (viii) is replaced by the following:

‘(viii) an assessment of the contribution of the policy or measure to the achievement of the Union’s climate-neutrality objective set out in Article 2(1) of Regulation (EU) 2021/1119 and to the achievement of the long-term strategy referred to in Article 15 of this Regulation;’.

Article 14

Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.