PES welcomes green light for historic Climate Law

21/04/2021 - Flagship progressive policy from Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans puts EU on course for climate neutrality

Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, sets out the Climate Law proposal at a press conference, Brussels. March 2020. Photo: EC - Audiovisual Service

Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, sets out the Climate Law proposal at a press conference, Brussels. March 2020. Photo: EC - Audiovisual Service

The PES strongly welcomes the news that negotiations between the institutions on the European Climate Law have finally been completed – a key demand of Europe’s socialist political family.

Today, the European Commission, Council of the EU, and European Parliament gave the green light to the much-anticipated Law. It commits the EU to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels - one of the most ambitious emissions reduction targets in the world.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“This is a historic decision. It is the moment we, united as Europeans, commit to a sustainable future for this generation and for those to come. It signals clearly that we are ready to live up to the promise of a climate neutral world.

“As Europeans we can be proud that the EU is leading the way in the fight against the climate crisis. As progressives, we can be prouder still of the scale of that progress. Frans Timmermans, the S&D Group and the German and Portuguese Council Presidencies have fought hard to put sustainability at the top of the EU agenda and the Green Deal is now turning from vision into reality.

“2021 is the decisive year to drive our economies towards recovery, based on the green transition. Today we made the commitment. Tomorrow we continue our work to keep it, to maintain the momentum and to secure a shift to a sustainable model that supports workers, businesses and society as a whole.”

The shift to a sustainable way of life was a central aim of the PES 2019 European elections campaign, headed up by Frans Timmermans as PES Common Candidate.

As Executive Vice President he put forward a proposal for a European Climate Law in March 2020, with the aim of writing into law the central goal of the European Green Deal: a climate-neutral EU by 2050.

The work on the Climate Law started during the German Presidency of the Council of the EU, under the leadership of Minister Svenja Schulze from SPD Germany. The Portuguese Presidency took over the negotiations, led by Minister João Pedro Matos Fernandes from PS Portugal, in January 2021 and vowed to find agreement as a matter of priority.

In the European Parliament, Socialist and Democrat MEPs have worked to strengthen and increase the ambitions of the Climate Law, led by S&D Rapporteur Jytte Guteland.

The provisional agreement on the European Climate Law reached today realises the long-held - and long fought for - vision of Europe’s socialist family for a more sustainable future for all.