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EU To Create Social Fund To Help Households Through Energy Transition

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, Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, said.

“We must protect vulnerable households against potential price increases for heating and transport fuels, especially in regions where clean options aren’t readily available,” Timmermans said in a speech at the European Economic and Social Committee this week.

“So if we were to introduce emissions trading for these fuels, that means we must also take our commitment to social fairness a step further. Any proposal on emissions trading in these new sectors must come with a proposal for the social impact at the same time,” the EU’s climate policy chief added.

“Part of the revenues generated from emissions trading in road transport and buildings could be put into a dedicated fund, so that Member States can use those revenues to compensate the cost of this transition to vulnerable citizens,” Timmermans said.

Vulnerable households could use that financial assistance to switch to clean energy alternatives such as zero-emission heating and cooling or electric vehicles (EVs), according to Timmermans.

The European Commission will release on July 14 detailed proposals on how the EU could achieve climate neutrality by 2050, including potential carbon pricing and emissions trading schemes for road transportation and aviation fuels.

The EU is looking to extend energy taxation to the aviation industry as the bloc is ramping up efforts to raise its chances of reaching the targets in the European Green Deal for carbon neutrality by 2050, the Financial Times reported last month, citing officials. During a meeting of the finance ministers of the EU in Lisbon, the ministers backed, in general, a proposal to have an EU-wide taxation of aviation fuel.

Earlier this week, the 27 members of the European Union approved the regulation establishing the so-called Just Transition Fund to help fossil fuel-reliant economies in the bloc move to greener energy, clearing the final hurdle for the fund to launch.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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