After the new European Commission under Commission President von der Leyen presented the European Green Deal on 11 December (for detailed information on the European Green Deal, click here), the European Parliament (EP) adopted a resolution on the European Green Deal on 15 January 2020. On the whole, MEPs welcome the deal. In particular, they welcome the ambitious sustainable investment plan, which should help to close existing investment gaps. However, they also call for an adequately funded, fair transition mechanism.
MEPs also see room for improvement in the ambitions for the EU's emission reduction target for 2030 under the forthcoming climate change law. They call for an increase in the reduction from 50 per cent to 55 per cent compared to 1990 levels and for an interim target for 2040 to be introduced to ensure that the EU is on track to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. To prevent carbon leakage due to differing climate targets around the world, the European Parliament calls for a WTO-compatible mechanism for adjusting CO2 limits.
MEPs stress that they will adapt all legislative proposals to achieve the Green Deal objectives. Higher energy efficiency and renewable energy targets, including binding national targets for each member state, and a revision of other EU climate and energy legislation are needed by June 2021, they add.
The European Parliament also welcomed the Commission's intention to present a zeropollution action plan, but also called for the Commission to “to raise the level of protection of the quality of our air, in line with latest scientific findings and the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines” and “better monitoring of air pollution in Member States through the implementation of robust and harmonised measurement methods”.
In the resolution, the European Parliament also welcomes all the plans envisaged by the Commission that are directly related to road transport. In particular, the focus on the development of intermodal transport concepts is well received. The resolution was adopted with 482 votes in favour, 136 against and 95 abstentions. In the meantime, the Commission has also published its work plan for 2020. This plan emphasises the centrality of the UN sustainability goals and the priority of the new climate law.