‘Very big tasks ahead’ in EU climate law negotiations

(EurActiv, 16 Mar 2021) There are still many outstanding issues, particularly on climate ambition, after the fourth round of negotiations on Europe’s climate law closed on Friday (12 March), according to Jytte Guteland, the lead negotiator from the European Parliament.

“We have discussions that are making us come closer together. In that sense, it was a productive meeting,” said Guteland, a Swedish lawmaker from the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group in the European Parliament.

“On the other hand, the more we work, the more I and all realise that we also have outstanding issues, and that we still have the very big tasks ahead of us about ambition,” she told a press briefing on Friday evening.

Tabled one year ago by the European Commission, the climate law is the centrepiece of the European Green Deal. Its main objective is to enshrine the bloc’s 2050 climate neutrality goal into hard legislation while incorporating the EU’s 2030 climate target, which is still the subject of intense negotiations.

While EU member states painfully agreed on European Commission proposals to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, the Parliament has voted a 60% reduction compared to 1990 levels. All three now need to come to an agreement during so-called trilogue talks.

The most recent round of negotiations on the EU climate law was held as a hybrid meeting with some people, including the Commission’s executive vice-president Frans Timmermans and Guteland in the room while others joined via video link.

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EurActiv, 16 Mar 2021: ‘Very big tasks ahead’ in EU climate law negotiations