The European Commission will present a new set of reforms against climate change on Wednesday, which, according to several members of the Commission, will be the most ambitious ever implemented in the world. The plan is called “Fit for 55” (“Ready for 55”) and includes 13 different policy initiatives, which will reduce emissions by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and then achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
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The European Commission has emphasized the importance of this program: President Ursula van der Leyne compared his presentation to the arrival of the “Man on the Moon”, while the Commission’s Vice President and Commissioner, Franz Timmermans. Green Deal, Who has been a major promoter of the project in recent months, said it was “the biggest transformational move in history”.
The central element of the program is the strong restart of the Emissions Trading System (ETS), which was created in 2004, despite being one of the most important emission markets in the world (“cap and trade”) that has largely been wiped out in recent years.
By making it a lot easier, ETS has limited the overall emissions of about 11,000 power plants and businesses across Europe to a maximum, creating a market for these 11,000 companies to exchange “allocations” with each other. The industry is also polluting, which can buy quotas from less polluters, always within the already established total range, which is declining every year.
Whether member states have approved their emission markets or found ways to dilute it, it is determined that the ETS has failed in recent years, but the Commission wants to renew it by expanding its scope. If only the 11,000 particularly polluting industries and power plants that produce 40 percent of the EU’s emissions are currently subject to ETS, with the new scheme ETS will cover practically all emissions of the Union, transport and home heating sectors, so prices will rise.
Another innovative element of “Fit 55” is the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CPAM), which will force international companies, especially those operating in polluting sectors, to pay for their emissions if they want to import into Europe. Relevant sectors are steel, cement, aluminum and fertilizers. In practice, CBAM has a duty to protect European companies from operating in countries where the requirements are lighter, from unfair competition and from bearing the costs of strong environmental requirements.
The plan also includes other measures, such as a tax on aircraft and ships’ (highly polluting) fuels, and new regulations and incentives to promote the electrification of the transportation system.
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Tens of thousands of euros are supposed to help poor member states rely more on non-renewable energy sources than others, and the new scheme will result in higher fines.
Precisely, at least on paper, it is the most ambitious, “applicable to 55” risks that could collide with the opposition of many member states and interest groups trying to dilute or postpone the project during the lengthy approval and application process. “Opposition will be very strong”, he said Timmermans Allah CNN. “All major changes are receiving strong opposition.”