Portugal makes deal on EU climate law ‘big priority’ of its six-month presidency
(Climate Home News, 8 Jan 2021) Negotiations on the European Climate Law – including the bloc’s proposed 55% emissions reduction target for 2030 – are expected to wrap up before the end of June as Portugal makes a climate agreement the “big priority” of its six-month EU presidency, started on 1 January.
“I’m quite sure that during the presidency we will have the law approved. It’s our big priority for the semester,” said João Pedro Matos Fernandes, the Portuguese minister for environment and climate action, who briefed journalists on Thursday.
But talks are unlikely to be plain sailing, the Portuguese minister admitted, acknowledging that views between EU countries can sometimes diverge widely.
“We have to recognise that EU countries come from many different levels,” he said referring to eastern member states, which face a bigger challenge to meet the EU’s climate goals because of their greater reliance on coal and other polluting industries.