Towards National Legislation for Climate Protection
New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Edited by Marjan Peeters, Mark Stallworthy and Javier de Cendra de Larragán
Chapter 16: Concluding observations and forward look
It is beyond doubt that member states have an important role to play towards the 20 per cent greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of the EU. Whilst the EU ETS will become, from 2013 onwards, a highly centralized system, the Effort Sharing Decision is a framework law, setting emission limitation targets for non EU ETS sectors while leaving member states ample room to make regulatory choices at domestic level subject to a few procedural obligations on monitoring and reporting, which can then be controlled by the European Commission. Such freedom is nevertheless limited in two respects: first, the existence of legally binding targets means that member states are under a legal obligation to develop national policies and, if needed, national and sub-national regulatory strategies, in order to ensure compliance with their targets; secondly, the regulatory space left to member states is further constrained by the body of EU climate change law that has developed since the beginning of the 1990s. As Chapter 3 showed, that body of law still affords member states considerable leeway to make their own regulatory choices. The central theme underlying all the contributions in this book has been the legal response of member states to the challenge of regulating climate change mitigation at national level.
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