IATE Term of the Week: climate-neutrality objective


Although technological advancements have paved the way for humans to progress, the by-product of our actions became an issue known and discussed all around the world as the climate change crisis. Nowadays, climate change is affecting people in all parts of the globe with the increasing extreme weather conditions, rising sea levels, ocean acidification and loss of biodiversity. Europe is no exception and is also experiencing those wide-ranging consequences.

Therefore, as a counter-measure, the European Union has adopted several strategies to address this issue and achieve the climate-neutrality objective. In IATE, climate-neutrality objective (also known as EU 2050 ‘climate-neutrality objective’, ‘EU’s objective of climate neutrality by 2050’, ‘2050 climate neutrality objective’) is defined as ‘legally-binding political commitment to make the EU climate-neutral by 2050’. Please note that multiple spellings of this term are possible: climateneutrality objective, climate neutrality objective, climate-neutrality-objective. Climate-neutrality is also associated with carbon-neutrality, and therefore it is usually used interchangeably.

This objective was highlighted throughout recent years of European legislative attempts to fight climate change. It was set out by the Paris Agreement, which is the ‘first-ever universal, legally binding global climate agreement’. After that, the climate-neutrality objective was further discussed in the EU, and it was included in new proposals and regulations, e.g. The European Green Deal.  Key points of those documents state that, to achieve the climate-neutrality objective by the year 2050, we should: 

  • Keep the long-term average global temperature well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels;
  • Reduce greenhouse emissions to net-zero by that year;
  • Contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The results of this comprehensive framework of policies implemented by the EU can already be seen in the modernisation and transformation of the economy with the aim of climate neutrality in mind. The European Commission stated that between years 1990-2018, the EU reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 23%, while the economy grew by 61% (Regulation COM/2020/80 final). However, it is widely acknowledged that current policies are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by only 60% by 2050, which is not enough. Many more policies and regulations must be put in place to reach the climate-neutrality objective, thereby ensuring longevity of our planet and sustainable development of our society.


European Commission. Paris Agreement. Climate Action. Retrieved: May 9, 2023. DOI: https://climate.ec.europa.eu/eu-action/international-action-climate-change/climate-negotiations/paris-agreement_en

European Commission. A European Green Deal. Striving to be the first climate-neutral continent. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52020PC0080 https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide

European Parliament (March 24, 2023). Climate change in Europe: facts and figures. News: European Parliament. Retrieved: May 9, 2023. DOI: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/society/20180703STO07123/climate-change-in-europe-facts-and-figures

European Parliament (April 13, 2023). What is carbon neutrality and how can it be achieved by 2050?. EU Monitor. Retrieved: May 9, 2023. DOI: https://www.eumonitor.eu/9353000/1/j9vvik7m1c3gyxp/vl2fnepc5uzq?ctx=vjmhg41ub7pp

European Parliament (March 28, 2023). Infographic: how climate change is affecting Europe. News: European Parliament. Retrieved: May 9, 2023. DOI: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/priorities/climate-change/20180905STO11945/infographic-how-climate-change-is-affecting-europe

Lindsey, R. (23 June, 2022). Climate Change: Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide. Understanding Climate. Retrieved: May 9, 2023. DOI: https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide

REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL establishing the framework for achieving climate neutrality and amending Regulation (EU) 2018/1999. (2020). Official Journal of the European Union. L 243/1. p. 1–17. Retrieved: May 9, 2023. DOI: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32021R1119

Written by Kasandra Rogala

Born in Poland, nowadays based in Germany. Kasandra holds a degree in Applied Linguistics with Polish, English and French from the University of Warsaw. They are also currently studying their Master’s Degree in Learning and Communication in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts at the University of Luxembourg. They can speak fluently Polish, English, French and they are improving their competences in Japanese and German. Academically, they are interested in researching how taboos are curated and disseminated by multilingual people, along with examining ethics of translation. Privately, they are exploring their artistic side by practicing digital illustration, traditional painting, and tattooing.