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15 October 2020
Asthma , COPD, Allergy
PREVENT, - Air Quality

At the start of October, the European Parliament voted to adopt an EU Climate Law with increased ambitions. The biggest news was MEPs calling for a 60% emissions reduction target by 2030, higher than the European Commission’s proposal of 55%.

What is the EU Climate Law?

The EU Climate Law will create binding obligations for the EU and its Member States to help the EU’s commitment to become climate neutral by 2050 become a reality. It sets out a 30-year framework and the direction for the EU and Member States to meet the expectations of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement is the landmark global framework to address climate change, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and limit global heating to 1.5°C. Negotiated within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), it has been signed by 189 countries, except Iran and Turkey.

How the EU Climate Law can benefit patients with allergies and respiratory illnesses

Reducing GHG is essential to address the worsening impact of air pollution on people’s health. Air pollution affects everyone, and can cause or aggravate respiratory illnesses and allergies.

As a patient organisation for people with allergy, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), EFA advocates for the reduction of air pollution in line with the recommendations from the World Health Organisation.

The EU Climate Law will also require:

  • the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies by 2026;
  • for the European Commission to propose a trajectory on how the EU can achieve climate neutrality by 2050,
  • and a CO2 budget which limits the total amount of GHG missions allowed within the EU until 2050. This budget will also allow Member States to better share the responsibility as some are closer to climate neutrality than others, with achievable goals for all.

To monitor the progress of the law, the European Parliament proposes to create an EU Climate Change Council (ECCC). This would be an independent, scientific body to monitory progress and assess policy.

The next steps

The European Parliament is sending a clear message to the Council of the European Union, who will decide on the EU Climate Law when they meet in December. The Council is expected to support the European Commission’s proposals of 55% emission reductions.

EFA will continue to advocate for initiatives that take strong steps to reduce air pollution to create a better quality of life for all. Any climate legislation must include improved health as a key goal as the EU works towards achieving climate neutrality.

Learn more about the European Parliament Resolution on the EU Climate Law, EFA’s response to the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and the F-Gases Regulation review consultation.