THE EUROPEAN CLIMATE LAW MARKS A NEW STEP TOWARDS EUROPEAN GREEN DEAL
On April 21, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union reached an agreement regarding targets contained in the European Climate Law and the EU’s commitment to reach climate neutrality by 2050. The deal constitutes a milestone in the pathway outlined by the European Green Deal and sets out intermediate binding targets to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030.
Further elements have been introduced to contribute in supporting the European framework for climate action, including a 2040 climate target, the commitment to negative emissions after 2050, stronger provisions of adaptation policies and coherence across policies and the enhancement of the EU’s carbon sink.
Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans declared: “This is a landmark moment for the EU. We have reached an ambitious agreement to write our climate neutrality target into binding legislation, as a guide to our policies for the next 30 years. The Climate Law will shape the EU's green recovery and ensure a socially just green transition. Today's agreement also reinforces our global position as a leader in tackling the climate crisis. When world leaders gather on Earth Day, the EU will come to the table with this positive news, which we hope will inspire our international partners. This is a good day for our people and our planet.”
SUSTAINABLE FINANCE AND EU TAXONOMY: THE COMMISSION TAKES FURTHER STEPS TO CHANNEL MONEY TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE ACTIVITIES
On April 21, the EC adopted an ambitious and comprehensive package of measures to help improve the flow of money towards sustainable activities across the European Union. By enabling investors to re-orient investments towards more sustainable technologies and businesses, these measures will be instrumental in making Europe climate neutral by 2050.
The package is comprised of: the EU Taxonomy Climate Delegated Act, which aims to support sustainable investment; a proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive to improve the flow of sustainability information in the corporate world; six amending Delegated Acts on fiduciary duties, investment and insurance advice in order to ensure financial firms to include sustainability in their procedures.
The European Green Deal is Europe's growth strategy which is aimed to foster the well-being and health of citizens, to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050 and to protect, conserve and enhance the EU's natural capital and biodiversity.
As part of that effort, companies need a comprehensive sustainability framework to change their business models accordingly. These measures will put the European financial sector at the heart of a sustainable and inclusive economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the longer-term sustainable economic development of Europe.
MEMBER STATES AGREE ON TECHNIQUES FOR THE DIGITAL GREEN CERTIFICATE
On April 22, one month after the Commission proposal on the digital green certificate, the representatives of the Member States of the eHealth network agreed on orientations that describe the main specific techniques for the implementation of the system. It is a crucial step for the creation of the necessary infrastructures at EU level. In parallel, Member States are encouraged to rapidly introduce the technical solutions needed at national level, as to ensure the introduction of digital green certificates in the EU by June 2021, it is fundamental to push forward the works related to the technical implementation alongside the current legislative procedure.
The agreed specific technique concerns the data structure and the codification mechanisms, including the QR code, which will ensure that all certificates can be read and verified throughout the Union, as well as the EU gateway will allow the sharing electronic signature keys so that the authenticity of digital green certificates can be verified in the EU. Lastly, the guidelines describe the reference implementations for the software for the issue of digital green certificates and a wallet application template that allows citizens to keep the certificates.
The next steps on the technical level will be the creation of national infrastructures, the introduction of national solutions for the issue, verification and conservation of digital green certificates, and the institution of the EU gateway, which might be available from June to allow Member States to connect.