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Commission’s proposed climate law betrays demands of protesting youth

On the day youth climate activist Greta Thunberg and climate activists come to Brussels to address EU officials, the Commission has published a draft climate law that tramples on their demands.

While setting the goal of climate neutrality for 2050, the law continues to draw on failed market mechanisms to offset emissions, neglects to account for externalised emissions and, crucially, allows for a future for fossil fuels, as long as they are ‘offset’.

These shortcomings, alongside the refusal to improve the target for emissions cut for 2030, make the likelihood of climate neutrality weak and lacking real enforcement.

GUE/NGL co-president Manon Aubry (France Insoumise, France) reacted to the release:

“While humanity races against time to save our planet, the European Commission proposes a climate law that postpones setting a binding trajectory towards carbon neutrality and fails to address the root causes of climate chaos such as fossil fuel subsidies and free trade.

“How do EU officials, keen on photo ops, dare to look at Greta Thunberg and other youth in the eye this week, while proposing a climate law that betrays their call for action?”

Co-president Martin Schirdewan (DIE LINKE, Germany) added:

“Setting a target of net zero emissions by 2050 means that Europe is abandoning the ambition to keep warming to the limit defined in the Paris Agreement, and is dumping this responsibility on the developing world.

“Net zero is a sham that provides for the continuing use of fossil fuels well into the future, and relies on ‘emission removal’ technology that does not exist. Most importantly, there is no target set for 2030 or prior. If we are to keep within the remaining carbon budget, we need binding year-by-year targets starting right now.

“It is absolutely crucial that the incoming German presidency of the Council ensures the EU enters the Glasgow climate conference with agreed and sufficient emissions reduction targets for 2030, and indeed for the years leading up to 2030,” Schirdewan concluded.

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