11 Jan 2021
Portugal will continue tackling the climate crisis, as the Portuguese minister for environment and climate action, João Pedro Matos Fernandes stated that negotiations on the European Climate Law will be concluded before the end of June.
Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Fernandes said, “I’m quite sure that during the presidency we will have the law approved. It’s our big priority for the semester.” The European Climate Law includes the EU’s proposed 55% greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030. “We have to recognise that EU countries come from many different levels,” he continued.
In relation to the negotiations, he noted, “We don’t say every country needs to be carbon neutral by 2050.” Most countries should be able to reach the target by 2050 and not many exceptions should be made.
Despite setting goals, the minister for environment and climate action said it will be easier for negotiations and EU leaders to accept the European Commission’s proposal to reduce emissions by “at least 55%” by 2030.
Fernandes pointed out “During March and April, we will start with things that are easy to negotiate. I do believe that we’re going to have an agreement. This is too important.”
“We understand that this is a negotiation, but we ask also our colleagues in the European Parliament to understand this as well. Of course, the final document won’t be exactly the same as the document that was approved by the Council.”