Uncertain struggle for the climate when the EU will be “fit for 55”

Faster and wider carbon dioxide tariffs, but slower household requirements for emissions from buildings and road transport. This is how the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment wants to get the climate in order.

The EU will be “fit for 55” by 2030, it is thought. This means that the Union will then have reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 55% compared to 1990 levels.

How to do it, the European Commission proposed in a long series of proposals last summer. As usual, these are now dealt with in two tracks: partly by EU member states in the Council of Ministers, and partly by members of the European Parliament.

The latter passed an important milestone on Tuesday when several of the proposals were voted through in Parliament’s environment committee.

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These include updated rules for emissions trading (ETS). The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy wants to move faster than the European Commission in reducing the total number and wants to increase the percentage by 0.1 percentage points each year.

Faster tariffs

From 2030, instead of 2035, the committee also wants to fully introduce what is called CBAM – a kind of carbon dioxide duty on imports of certain goods from countries with less stringent climate rules. By 2030, all free emission rights will also have disappeared.

The committee also thinks that CBAM should also apply to, among other things, aluminum and hydrogen in addition to what the Commission has proposed, which includes, for example, iron, steel and cement.

With regard to the Commission’s proposal to include buildings and road transport in emissions trading, the Committee on the Environment wants to exclude private individuals until 2029, in order to mitigate the effect on ordinary households.

Small margins

Several Swedish members have been involved in the committee’s handling.

“For the first time, we are now building a strong majority in the European Parliament to force all Member States to reduce their emissions,” said Jessica Polfjärd (M), who led the negotiations on the division of responsibilities between member states, the ETUC, in a press release.

At the same time, it is not a given that the entire European Parliament will follow the committee’s line. Both in terms of CBAM and emissions from agriculture and forestry, LULUCF, the votes were so even that the line could very well be changed when the whole Parliament is to vote on the matter in early June.

Once this has been done, final compromise negotiations will begin with EU member states before the new rules can take effect.

Facts: Then the EU will be “fit for 55”

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee has voted on its view on a number of major climate proposals from the European Commission:

* ESR, on national climate targets and how much each member state should reduce its emissions (Member of Parliament responsible: Jessica Polfjärd, Sweden) – passed by 61 votes to 20.

* LULUCF, on emissions from land and forest use (Ville Niinistö, Finland) – went through with 44-37.

* Emissions Trading for the Aviation Sector (Suncana Glavak, Croatia) – went through 66-9.

* Revision of emissions trading, ETS (Peter Liese, Germany) – went through 62-20.

* The carbon dioxide tariff CBAM (Mohammed Chahim, The Netherlands) – went through 49-33.

A sixth heavy vote on the creation of a social climate fund (Esther de Lange, The Netherlands, together with David Casa, Spain, from the Labor Committee) will be held on Wednesday.

Source: European Parliament.