The EU announces strict new climate rules, including a tax on foreign polluters
European Union policymakers announced their most ambitious climate change plan to date on Wednesday, aiming to translate green goals into concrete actions for this decade, and use this to lead the way for other large economies in the world.
The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, elaborated on how the 27 EU countries will achieve their collective goal of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2030-which is the goal of achieving “net zero” emissions by 2050. step.
This will mean raising the cost of carbon emissions for heating, transportation, and manufacturing, imposing taxes on high-carbon aviation fuels and shipping fuels that were not previously taxed, and charging importers at the border for carbon emissions from products such as cement and steel. And foreign aluminum. It will make the internal combustion engine history.
Frans Timmermans, head of EU climate policy, said: “We will ask many of our citizens. We will also ask many of our industries, but we are doing this for a good cause.”
“We do this to give mankind a chance to fight.”
The “Fit for 55” measure will require the approval of member states and the European Parliament, and this process may take two years.
They may also face strong lobbying from some industrial sectors, poorer European member states that want to protect their citizens from rising prices, and heavily polluting countries facing costly transitions.
A diplomat from an EU country said that the success of the package depends on its ability to be realistic and socially fair, while not undermining economic stability.
The diplomat said: “The purpose is to raise the economy to a new level, not to stop it.”
Europe emits 8% of global emissions
The EU’s emissions account for only 8% of global emissions, but it is hoped that its example will trigger ambitious action when other major economies in the world hold their next landmark United Nations climate conference in Glasgow in November.
“Europe is the first continent to announce climate neutrality by 2050, and now we are the first continent to put a specific road map on the table,” said Ursula von der Lein, President of the European Commission.
Watch | European Commission President Ursula von der Lein summed up the new plan:
The package arrived a few days after California suffered one of the highest temperatures recorded on the planet. This is the latest in a series of brutal heat waves that have also hit Russia, Northern Europe and Canada.
Due to climate change Typhoon swept the tropics To Australia’s blown jungle, Brussels has proposed more than a dozen policies to target most of the sources of fossil fuel emissions that trigger it, including heating systems in power plants, factories, cars, airplanes, and buildings.
So far, EU emissions have been reduced by 24% from 1990 levels, but many of the most obvious steps, such as reducing dependence on coal for power generation, have been taken.
The next decade will require greater adjustments and focus on 2050. Scientists say that by 2050, the world must reach net zero carbon emissions to prevent climate change from becoming catastrophic.
These measures follow a core principle: make pollution more expensive and green options more attractive to the EU’s 25 million companies and nearly 1 billion people.
Ships must now also pay for carbon
By 2035, stricter vehicle emission restrictions will actually end the sales of new gasoline and diesel vehicles in the European Union—the earliest date to be touted.
The EU Emissions Trading System is the world’s largest carbon market, and it will force factories, power plants and airlines to pay more when emitting carbon dioxide. Ships will also join ETS, requiring ship owners to pay for their pollution for the first time.
A new EU carbon market will impose carbon dioxide costs on the transportation and construction sectors-some of the revenue will be invested in a fund to curb fuel costs for low-income households.
The European Commission also announced its world’s first carbon border tariff plan, requiring foreign manufacturers to pay for the carbon dioxide they generate when they sell steel and cement to the European Union.
Jet fuel tax
At the same time, the tax reform will impose taxes on polluting aviation fuel within the EU, and such taxes can be avoided at present.
EU member states will also be required to build forests and grasslands-carbon sinks that keep carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
For some EU countries, the package is an opportunity to consolidate the EU’s global leadership in tackling climate change and stand at the forefront of the development of required technologies.
Dan Jorgensen, the Danish Minister of Climate and Energy, said that this will send a signal to the rest of the world, “both ambitious goals can be set, and concrete necessary measures can be taken to achieve them.”
But these plans exposed familiar rifts. Poorer member states are cautious about policies that increase consumer costs, while regions that rely on coal-fired power plants and coal mines hope to provide more support for the transition, which will lead to chaos and require large-scale retraining.