EU lawmakers vote for stricter climate due diligence obligations for companies
(EurActiv, 9 Feb 2023) Members of the European Parliament’s environment committee voted on Thursday (9 February) to strengthen requirements on climate protection in the proposed EU rules on corporate accountability.
The proposal on corporate sustainability due diligence, presented by the European Commission in February 2022, would require large companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in high-risk sectors to prevent human rights violations and identify “adverse environmental impacts” along their value chain.
On Thursday, MEPs from the environment committee adopted their opinion on the file, calling for stricter obligations on environmental and climate impacts for companies, including requirements to reduce their carbon emissions, in line with existing EU law.
“The environment committee is sending a strong signal: we want to oblige companies to make their entire value chain climate-neutral by 2050,” said Tiemo Wölken, rapporteur for the opinion, following the vote.
“No company should be able to relocate its particularly climate-damaging activities to countries outside Europe in order to circumvent the strict climate regulations in Europe,” he added.
According to the opinion, companies would need to make sure that their value chains are aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the European climate law. Moreover, the opinion lays out the criteria for mandatory transition plans that companies would need to implement to reach these goals.