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The European Commission unveiled on Wednesday its latest plan to support the European Union in becoming a carbon-neutral bloc by 2050 and slash net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.
To ensure the EU would reach those targets, as laid out in the European Green Deal, the European Commission adopted on Wednesday a package of proposals to align the EU’s climate, energy, land use, transport, and taxation policies with the goals.
The package proposed by the Commission needs to be adopted by all member states and by the European Parliament—a process that could take some two years.
The EU faces debates about how to make the so-called ‘Fit for 55’ package fair for European citizens, especially vulnerable households and people employed in the coal mining industries in countries like Poland and Germany.
Last month, Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, said that the European Commission plans to create a so-called “climate action social fund” if it moves to introduce carbon pricing on road transportation fuels and buildings, in order to protect the most vulnerable households against rising fuel and heating bills.
In the package unveiled today, the Commission is proposing to phase out free emission allowances for aviation and align with the global Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and to include shipping emissions for the first time in the EU Emissions Trading System.
“To address the lack of emissions reductions in road transport and buildings, a separate new emissions trading system is set up for fuel distribution for road transport and buildings,” the Commission’s proposal says.
“This is the make-or-break decade in the fight against the climate and biodiversity crises,” Timmermans said.
Ahead of the package presentation, BP’s chief executive Bernard Looney said in a LinkedIn post on Tuesday: “From scaling up renewables to decarbonising transportation in Europe - it will be wide-ranging and challenging. And we welcome this legislation.”
“We expect these policies to stimulate low carbon consumer demand and create big business opportunities for companies like ours,” Looney added.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.