European Council adopted the long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategy of EU on behalf of the EU and its member states. This will now be forwarded to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as required by the Paris Agreement. The EU strategy refers to the endorsement by the European Council of the objective of achieving a climate-neutral EU by 2050. Individual member states are also required to prepare their own national strategies for submission to the UNFCCC. EU urges all parties to the Paris Agreement to communicate their strategies by 2020, in accordance with the Paris Agreement.
European Council endorses the objective of achieving a climate-neutral EU by 2050, in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The endorsement of the climate neutrality objective was reached following an inclusive institutional and societal debate based on the strategic long-term vision, proposed by EC, which includes a detailed analysis of solutions that could be pursued for the transition to a net zero greenhouse gas emissions economy and insights regarding the corresponding strategic priorities and an enabling framework that would allow reaching climate neutrality by 2050. One Member State, at this stage, cannot commit to implement this objective as far as it is concerned and the European Council will come back to this in June 2020. The EU strategy recalls the full commitment of EU and its member states to the Paris Agreement and its long-term goals.
By agreeing and delivering on this ambitious social and economic transformation, EU and its member states are aiming to inspire global climate action and demonstrate that moving toward climate neutrality is not only imperative but also feasible and desirable. Earlier, on March 04, 2020, EC has also proposed the European Climate Law, which will make the 2050 climate neutrality objective legally binding. Achieving climate neutrality will, however, require overcoming serious challenges. Thus, the European Council recognizes the need to put in place an enabling framework that benefits all member states and encompasses adequate instruments, incentives, support, and investments to ensure a cost-effective as well as socially balanced and fair transition, taking into account different national circumstances in terms of starting points.
As conclusions to the December 12, 2019 meeting of the European Council state, all relevant EU legislation and policies need to be consistent with, and contribute to, the fulfillment of the climate neutrality objective while respecting a level playing field. Therefore, the European Council invites EC to examine whether this requires an adjustment of the existing rules, including on state aid and public procurement. It also invites the Commission to report regularly on the environmental and socio-economic impact of the transition to climate neutrality.
Keywords: Europe, EU, Banking, Insurance, Securities, ESG, UNFCCC, Paris Agreement, Climate Neutrality 2050, Climate Change Risk, EC, European Council
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