The new, mammoth ‘green package’ is called ‘Fit for 55’ and it is going to change the way we commute, use – or abuse – energy and the way our smart homes and cities will be built in the near future. The ultimate goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% (compared to 1990) by 2030 and this relatively new set of rules is going to show us how.
Following the EU Parliament’s approval last month of a landmark law to make EU’s greenhouse gas emissions targets legally binding, Frans Timmermans, the executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, is about to unveil our new climate policy.
The Green Deal package consists of 13 legislative proposals, of which eight are updates and five are new. And they are:
- Revision of the EU emission trading scheme (EU ETS)
- Revision of the regulation on land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF)
- Revision of the effort sharing regulation (ESR)
- Amendment to the renewable energy directive (RED)
- Amendment to the energy efficiency directive (EED)
- Revision of the alternative fuels infrastructure directive (AFID)
- Amendment of the regulation setting CO2 emission performance standards for cars and vans
- Revision of the energy taxation directive
- New EU forest strategy
- A carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM)
- A Climate Action Social Facility
- ReFuelEU Aviation – on sustainable aviation fuels
- FuelEU Maritime – on greening Europe’s maritime space
Earlier this month and after the publication of a Eurobarometer Survey that demonstrates the immense interest that the majority of Europeans nurture when it comes to climate change, Frans Timmermans said: “Despite the pandemic and the economic hardship Europeans are facing, support for climate action remains high. Europeans recognize the long-term risks posed by the climate and biodiversity crises, and expect industry, governments and the European Union to take action”.
And although nine out of ten Europeans (93% to be accurate) believe that climate change is the “single most serious problem facing the world”, the fact remains that rules and regulations must be very carefully considered before implemented. Why? Because as always there could be some proverbial “bumps” on the road to climate salvation.
For example, the new EU Emissions trading scheme (EU ETC) is potentially going to have a social-economic impact especially for countries within the EU that have been hit hard already by the economic crisis and the pandemic. To tackle that impact, the European Commission created a fund (Climate Action Social Facility), which, according to Euractiv, it is going to absorb at least 50% of the revenues generated by the ETS. If that is indeed the case, that would be a good start.
The carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) on the other hand, is already worrying the United Nations (UN). According to their site, the fact that CBAM would place a carbon price on imports of certain goods from outside the EU, as a way to reduce the risk of “carbon leakage”, could potentially lead to an unfair burden being placed on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
Although a big fan of the EU Commission myself, I am curious to see how things will unravel. What about you?
Editor, Smart Energy International
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