EU parliament committee rubber-stamps climate change law

European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium May 5, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Lawmakers on the European Parliament's environment committee on Monday voted to approve the EU's landmark climate change law, clearing one of the final hurdles before it enters into force.

Negotiators from parliament and the European Union's 27 member states last month struck a deal on the landmark law to make the bloc's climate change targets legally binding.

Those targets are to cut net EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels, and eliminate them by 2050.

Parliament had pushed for a tougher target to cut emissions by 60% by 2030, a position spearheaded by lawmakers on its environment committee.

On Monday, the committee gave the green light to the law including its 55% emissions-cutting target for 2030, with 52 votes in favour, 24 against and 4 abstentions. Green lawmakers who wanted tougher goals were among those to vote against it.

The law faces two further votes before it enters into force. It is expected to pass both. The full EU assembly will vote on the law in June, after which EU member states will approve it.

The EU climate law also requires the bloc to form an independent board of scientific experts to advise on future climate policies. It requires the EU to set a 2040 emissions-cutting target, and create a budget-like mechanism to define the total emissions the EU could produce from 2030-2050 without scuppering its climate goals.

(Reporting by Kate Abnett; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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