The European climate law: too much power for the Commission?

30 March 2020

On March 4 2020, the European Commission presented its proposal for a European Climate Law in which a framework for achieving the objective of climate neutrality by 2050 would be legally established. At a political level, this goal has already been endorsed by the European Parliament in its resolution of 14 March 2019 and by the European Council in its conclusions of 12 December 2019. The Commission had hardly tabled its proposal before it was bombarded with critique, including that the Climate Law would constitute a power grab by the Commission, in particular by giving it the power to decide on the appropriate 'trajectory' to 2050. In addition, the Commission intends to follow up on and assess the efforts of the Member States. The present contribution will address these two points in the light of EU primary law.