29. April 2020 | NEWSFLASH Umweltrecht

NEWSFLASH English Summary

English Summary of NEWSFLASH 2020 - April

In response to COVID-19, the Austrian government delays legal deadlines

To prevent the COVID-19 crisis from having an unfair impact on the legal justice system, the Austrian government introduced legislation to halt almost all legal deadlines until May 1st. From mid-March to this deadline, all legal periods are either interrupted or inhibited, with the difference that interrupted periods start new on May 1st, while inhibited ones just continue. This measure passed parliament unanimously and will ensure that even with attorney’s offices closed, legal protection can be guaranteed during these times. Additionally, the latest amendment to the COVID-19 legislation introduces the possibility to hold hearings and trials via video conference online. Several measures aimed at cutting down on face to face contact to public authorities were introduced to prevent any further spread of COVID-19.

Overview of initiatives towards a climate-neutral Europe

There are various ongoing processes through which the European Commission intends to reach climate neutrality of the EU and its member states by 2050. The Proposal for a European Climate Law COM (2020) 80 aims at achieving net zero emissions mainly by cutting emissions, investing in green technologies and protecting the natural environment. It provides for adaptations of the trajectory until 2050, including re-evaluation on a five-year basis. Within the 2030 Climate Target Plan, the Commission proposes a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 55 % from 1990 levels until 2030, which would increase the current reduction goal of 40 %. Other processes concern the European Climate Pact, the Emissions Trading System (ETS) as well as the EU Green Deal. Within the respective public consultations, interested individuals and organisations may submit comments on these initiatives.