COP25 – IIDMA urges the government to pass the Climate Change and Energy Transition Law

On the first day of COP25 (Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), the International Institute for Law and the Environment (IIDMA) has urged the government in office to pass the Climate Change and Energy Transition Law once a government is formed. During the conference “Fighting climate change: the legislative response”, organized by IIDMA in the EU Pavilion (Blue Zone) at COP25, the elements that a Climate Change Law should include were analyzed by various experts. Furthermore, the progress made in this regard by the legislation of Ireland, France and Germany was discussed, as well as the elements that the future European Union Climate Change Law should contain. This EU Law is one of the main points of the programme of the new President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, who has promised to present it in the first one hundred days of her mandate.

In order to deal with the climate emergency, it is urgent to have a Climate Change Law at national level to facilitate the decarbonization of the economy. Such a law should establish mitigation targets, and as it is a legally binding instrument, it provides greater security and certainty for economic activities complying with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The debate on the Climate Change and Energy Transition Law has been ongoing for the last four years in Spain. Two parliamentary groups have presented their proposals for legislation on this subject, while the government in office has already drawn up to three preliminary drafts. However, the last preliminary draft will have to be discussed again, due to the increase in climate ambition by the EU: the new targets should include at least a 50% reduction by 2030, as stated in Von der Leyen’s programme. The draft shall be revised to introduce other key elements as well.

So, what elements should a Climate Change Law include? In addition to setting ambitious emission reduction targets, it should provide for periodic review of these targets, as well as the establishment of budgets to achieve them. It must also incorporate an expert advisory climate change committee, responsible for supervising that these objectives are met. Furthermore, the Law should include measures for the promotion of renewables, the promotion of energy efficiency and sustainable mobility. Finally, it should include measures to promote tax reform to ensure social justice and to avoid decarbonization becoming a burden for the most vulnerable citizens.

“The Climate Change and Energy Transition Law in Spain must be approved as soon as possible, as it is essential to have a stable legal framework for the fight against climate change” said Ana Barreira, Director of IIDMA. “However, we must remember that we have already had many regulations at the national, European and international level for years to deal with the problem of climate change and our failure has been in applying them. Organizations like IIDMA have had to go to court on different occasions to get institutions or companies to comply with the law”.

During this side event, the future European Union Climate Change Law, currently being drafted, was also discussed. It was stated that it should serve to place the EU at the forefront of the fight against climate change. This Law shall include ambitious targets for reducing emissions in 2030, as the European Parliament in its declaration of climate emergency has requested that they be reduced by at least 55%. Furthermore, it will include a target of zero net emissions by 2050, according to Von der Leyen´s last statements. However, it should not be forgotten that there is still opposition to this target from a group of countries led by Poland.

The event was attended by leading speakers from Friends of the Earth Ireland, IDDRI (Institut du Développement Durable et des Relations Internationales), Klima-Allianz Deutschland and the European Commission’s DG Climate.

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