Climate Laws in Europe
In 2021 the European Commission opened the biggest number of Directives and Regulations ever regrouped under the ‘Fit for 55’ package. Although this represents a step in the right direction, the Commission did not develop or propose new instruments that strengthen climate target ownership and accountability of Member States, with for example national climate neutrality targets and standards of national climate governance to ensure those targets are achieved. Currently, the European Union’s climate neutrality target is only enshrined in the European Climate Law; the target applies collectively to the Union but does not apply to each Member State individually. Yet, some 13 countries have already gone beyond this and have adopted — or are about to adopt — national whole economy wide climate neutrality targets.
This report gives an overview of the climate law situation in each of the following countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Some of the participant countries have a climate law, for some it is in the pipeline and for others it is a bottom up push from civil society, allowing for a good mapping across the EU and increasing visibility of recommendations from civil society. The aim of this briefing is threefold:
- It provides easy access to anyone that would like to increase their knowledge base about the content and status of a climate law in any of the participating countries, and the national organisation that is working on it or helped develop it.
- It seeks to promote the need for more national accountability of the EU climate neutrality objective and creates a resource to support partners in pushing Member States towards more ownership and to adopt national economy-wide climate neutrality targets as well as a national governance enabling conditions to achieve it.
- It also showcases the successful array of governance mechanisms that already exist at national level and which could inspire improvements of the EU’s climate architecture and thereby accelerate implementation across the Union.
Harriet Mackaill-Hill (CAN Europe), Federico Mascolo (CAN Europe).
With contribution of Audrey Mathieu and others.