Press release: 4 March 2020

“Start now, not in ten years’ time” – ClientEarth responds to the European Climate law

Reacting to the European Climate law published today by the European Commission, ClientEarth lawyer Jonathan Church said: “Enshrining in law the ambition to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050 is hugely significant. But to ensure we meet that target, this law needs some key additions.

“Creating a carbon reduction trajectory to 2050 is a welcome innovation, and a necessary part of keeping the EU and its Member States on track. But without concrete mechanisms to hold the bloc to that trajectory, this approach is unlikely to deliver the climate neutrality that’s the reason this law has been written.

“The Commission is tasked with holding Member States accountable but without independent monitoring and public scrutiny there is no guarantee that this will really happen. To this end, a new independent expert body should be established and the public be given the right to voice their views if the Commission falls short.

“The EU has a decisive decade ahead of it, one that requires transformative action to be taken by all its members. That means the trajectory towards 2050 should start now, not in ten years’ time. If the EU does not go full-speed on decarbonisation now, we risk locking in even more irreversible climate change.”


About ClientEarth

ClientEarth is a charity that uses the power of the law to protect people and the planet. We are international lawyers finding practical solutions for the world’s biggest environmental challenges. We are fighting climate change, protecting oceans and wildlife, making forest governance stronger, greening energy, making business more responsible and pushing for government transparency. We believe the law is a tool for positive change. From our offices in London, Brussels, Warsaw, Berlin and Beijing, we work on laws throughout their lifetime, from the earliest stages to implementation. And when those laws are broken, we go to court to enforce them.