The European Climate Law adopted in June 2021 transforms the European Green Deal’s political commitment to EU climate neutrality by 2050 into a binding obligation for the EU and member states. It increases the EU’s target for reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 from 40% to at least 55%, compared to 1990 level. Yesterday the Commission’s top executive branch presented its “Fit for 55 in 2030” package to align EU climate and energy policies and ensure the achievement of the more ambitious reduction target for 2030. (AutoInformed on EU Parliament Confirms Deal on Climate Neutrality by 2050, Environmental About Face – General Motors Ditching Internal Combustion Engines by 2035. Carbon Neutral by 2040?, CARB Warns of Toxic Metal Contaminants in Smoke from Fires, Ford Sets New Interim Carbon-Neutral Targets. Greenwash?)
Let the adverse lobbying begin by the plump, wealthy sacred cows of the polluting establishment – including countries such as Germany with a strong carbon-based economy and its global auto industry – who face butchering by increasing market incentives for consumers to force them to speed the move away from fossil fuels as not only the climate clearly heating up and changing – deadly floods in Germany and Belgium, as well as floods and fires in the Americas, scorching temperatures globally – but the political climate is heating up to do more now over what is clearly the growing negative effects of runaway climate change.
“The principle is simple: emission of CO2 must have a price, a price on CO2 that incentivizes consumers, producers and innovators to choose the clean technologies, to go toward the clean and sustainable products,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. Road Transport is responsible for 20% of the EU’s total GHG emissions.
The package comprises to modify or start, among other legislative proposals, the revision of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), amendments to the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Directives, as well as a revision of the CO2 standards for cars, LULUCF* and Effort Sharing Regulations.
The new legislation is designed to help meet the EU’s promise to cut emissions of the gases that cause global warming by 55% during this decade. This includes a simple and just proposal to tax foreign companies for the pollution they cause. Such common sense is controversial of course.
There are more than two handful of major proposals, ranging from the phasing out of gasoline and diesel cars by 2035 to new levies on gases from heating buildings. The EU’s emissions trading program, which a carbon tax on companies for the carbon dioxide they emit could introduce taxes on shipping and aviation fuels for the first time. See the estimable Pulitzer Prize winning Paul Krugman on this here. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/16/opinion/carbon-tariffs-climate-change.html
Also proposed are duties on foreign companies that would increase the price of goods such as steel, aluminum, concrete and fertilizer. This common-sense legislation would help European producers that cut emissions but grapple against importers that don’t have the same environmental restrictions.
The simple goal of Fit for 55 legislation, according to the commission is to phase out fossil fuels while taking increased care of the environment by policy backed by incentives and disincentives. Otherwise the EU – and the world in AutoInformed’s view will need to take drastic action in the future as war and famine or the four horsemen of the apocalypse ride around the globe. Then it could be impossible to stop the end.
The Paris Accords half a dozen years ago – and abandoned by the disgraced, corrupt and voted out Trump Administration – were designed stop global temperatures from increasing more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, optimally no more than 12.7 F by the end of the century. Study after study now say both goals will be missed by a wide margin. Unless commons sense in support of the common good prevails.
* LULUCF; The proposed law would lay down rules under which EU countries have to ensure that deforestation is balanced by planting new trees and sets measures to develop the sector in order to boost CO2 absorption by forests, croplands and grasslands. MEPs bolstered these provisions by adding that from 2030, member states should boost CO2 absorption to exceed emissions, in line with the EU’s long-term objectives and the Paris Agreement.
“LULUCF is about the positive contribution of agriculture and forestry to combating climate change” said rapporteur Norbert Lins (EPP, DE). “Parliament has worked to strike a balance between flexibility and comparable accounting rules for the 28 Member States. I am convinced that we have succeeded in strengthening the bioeconomy – wood for house building, furniture and bioenergy … With this legislation we are sending out a signal: we want our forests in Europe to continue to be managed sustainably. We want to continue to maintain strong forestry in Europe.” he said.