On Wednesday, 10 June, the Grand Committee decided on the Parliament’s position on the processing of the European Climate Law. It agrees with the Government’s position and emphasises the considerations presented by the Parliament’s special committees.
The Grand Committee’s position SuVL 5/2020 vp and other documents related to the matter have been published on the Parliament’s website in Finnish and will be later published in Swedish.
The objective of the European Climate Law is to create a framework for achieving climate neutrality in the EU by, among other things, setting a legally binding target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and giving regulations about a new EU target for 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reductions as well as measures related to the adaptation to climate change.
The Grand Committee supports the goal of strengthening the EU’s climate policy by means of legal measures. Strengthening the binding nature of measures, even more ambitious emission reduction targets and developing the legislation accordingly also help Finland achieve its national carbon neutrality target by 2035 and carbon negativity soon after that.
Finland is one of the few EU Member States that has a national Climate Change Act with legal requirements. It is therefore in Finland’s interests to promote a development where climate policy is strengthened by means of legislation in the other Member States as well, the Grand Committee states in its position.
The Grand Committee finds that all EU Member States should do their part so that the climate neutrality target can be achieved and that the EU should, as a climate leader, seek to get global actors to commit themselves to even more ambitious targets.
The European Climate Law is a part of the execution of the European Green Deal. The Grand Committee has discussed the European Green Deal previously in its position SuVL 3/2020.
The Grand Committee supports the Commission proposal’s principles of regular reviews and measuring of progress and emphasises the need to strengthen the scientific basis for climate law as well as the measures needed in order to adapt to climate change.
The Committee finds that emissions trading is the primary means of reducing emissions in energy production and the industry and supports its strengthening and investigating its expansion (SuVL 3/2020 vp).
Carbon reservoirs and carbon sinks in the land use sector should still be managed nationally in each Member State. The climate actions of countries implementing an ambitious climate policy should not benefit other countries. The emission reduction results in the land use sector should, however, be coordinated and evaluated on the EU level, the Grand Committee states.
The Grand Committee emphasises the significance of transparency and participation in the preparation of the matter. The EU’s climate policy is of great importance for society, and climate change cannot be mitigated or adapted to effectively through measures implemented by Member States solely. An open dialogue of the EU’s policy actions is important.
The construction of a climate neutral society requires major changes that are impossible without the support of citizens in order to ensure social justice and a fair transition, the Grand Committee concludes.