Brussels, 4 March 2020

On the 4th of March 2020, the European Commission presented two proposals to enshrine in legislation the EU's political commitment to be climate neutral by 2050 and to progress with Combined Transport.

The first proposal, the European Climate Law, seeks to make the 2050 climate neutrality objectives of the European Green Deal legally binding. By enshrining the EU´s GHG emission reduction targets into law, the Commission aims to provide predictability to business and investors.

To monitor progress, a process of review will be established to regularly assess whether the trajectory until 2050 is still met and the Commission will review existing policies and regulations to assess their alignment with the Green Deal’s objectives. A 2030-2050 EU-wide trajectory will be proposed and as from September 2023, the Commission will assess the alignment of EU and national measures with the objective of climate-neutrality of 2050 and the 2030-2050 trajectory put in place to achieve this goal.

The European Climate Law also refers to the EU targets for 2030. By September 2020, after an impact assessment, the Commission will propose revised objectives, aiming to increase the EU´s GHG reduction target as compared to 1990 towards 50-55%.

Aside from mitigating the effects of climate change by reducing GHG emissions, the law also focuses on adaptation to climate change.

On the same day, the Commission proposed to make 2021 the “European Year of Rail”, in recognition of the increased role (electric) railways need to play in the dramatic reduction of transport’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The proposal aims to promote rail transport in line with the objectives set out in the Commission Communication on the European Green Deal, including with respect to sustainable and smart mobility. Through projects, debates, events, exhibitions and initiatives across Europe, the European Year of Rail will promote rail as an attractive and sustainable way to move across Europe, to citizens, business and authorities, emphasising its Union wide and innovative dimension.