The Commission’s Climate Law proposal: what it says and how it might be improved

On 4 March 2020 the Commission published its draft Climate Law, formally a Regulation to establish the framework for achieving climate neutrality. This legislation had been flagged in incoming Commission President von der Leyen’s Political Guidelines published prior to the ratification of her nomination by the European Parliament.

It was confirmed in the Commission’s Communication on the European Green Deal in December 2019 with the stated aims to set out clearly the conditions for an effective and fair transition, to provide predictability for investors, and to ensure that the transition is irreversible. It would also ensure that all EU policies contribute to the climate neutrality objective and that all sectors play their part.

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Levelling the playing field for land-based enterprises in Ireland

Ireland faces particular challenges in meeting the EU’s 2030 member state climate targets when these are set as part of a new Effort Sharing Decision in the next few years. The overall target agreed at the European Council meeting in October 2014 for the sectors not covered by the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme is a reduction of 30% by 2030 compared to 2005, with individual member state targets differentiated between reductions of 0% to -40%. Ireland’s 2020 target is a reduction of 20% over 2005 levels.

Ireland’s overall 2030 target for the non-ETS sectors will be set partly on the basis of its relative GDP per capita but also taking account of the high share of agricultural emissions (around 45%) in its non-ETS total.

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