Historic agreement / 2030 target very ambitious / Europe will have to not only double but more than triple its climate protection efforts / It's a pity that not only the right and the left, but also the Greens vote against the law

On Thursday, the European Parliament voted by a large majority in favour of the first European climate law. This makes the climate target of 55% net by 2030 legally binding. As the first continent, Europe gives a legal commitment to climate neutrality in 2050.

Commenting on the outcome of the vote, the environmental spokesman of the largest group in the European Parliament (EPP, Christian Democrats) Dr. Peter Liese said: "Climate protection is probably the most important task of our generation of politicians. If we do not act vigorously, our children and grandchildren will not be able to get a grip on climate change anymore. We must therefore massively step up our efforts. The adopted target, especially for 2030, is extremely ambitious. Between 1990 and 2020, the EU cut greenhouse gases by 25%; now we have to cut them by 30% in just 9 years. That means not only doubling our efforts, but more than tripling them," Liese said.

Christian Democrats, Social Democrats and the liberal Renew Group voted in favour of the legislative act. The far right and left voted against, as did the Greens. "I find it sad that in this historic step for climate protection, the Greens stand shoulder to shoulder with the right and left and do not recognize the dramatic progress we are making here for climate policy. According to the EU Commission's impact assessment, the targets set out in the climate law are compatible with the Paris climate agreement," the environmental politician said.

Looking ahead to the next steps, in particular the legislation that the EU Commission will present on July 14 to implement the climate targets, Liese reiterated: "We Christian Democrats want to pay attention to three points in particular when it comes to implementation: First, we rely on market-based instruments such as emission trading and not only on command and control. Secondly, we want to work together with farmers and forest owners to improve methods of removing CO2 from the atmosphere, for example, from sustainable forest management and by changing production methods in agriculture. Thirdly, we want to make industry in Europe climate neutral. Industrial jobs should be preserved and Europe should also be a role model in this respect," explained MEP Peter Liese.