The European Commission unveiled a “climate law” on Wednesday to make the EU’s 2050 net zero emissions target legally binding, but Swedish activist Greta Thunberg and NGOs said more urgent action was needed to beat the climate crisis.
The European Union’s executive approved the proposed regulation at a meeting attended by Thunberg.
The climate law, which needs the approval of the European Parliament and member states, would commit the 27-nation EU to reducing its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. It omits a target that was included in a draft of the law — to achieve net “removals” of greenhouse gases after this date.
According to the regulation, 2050 will be an EU-wide goal, which raises the possibility that some member states could reduce their emissions to net zero at a later date if other countries decarbonize early.
Thunberg, 17, said the law fails to address the next 10 years.
“‘Net zero emissions by 2050’ for the EU equals surrender. It means giving up,” she and 33 other youth climate activists said in an open letter published on Tuesday. “We don’t just need goals for just 2030 or 2050. We, above all, need them for 2020 and every following month and year to come.
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