Brussels will unveil an important plan to reduce Europe’s carbon footprint

Brussels will set Wednesday plans for the EU to become the world’s first engine to achieve zero net emissions to limit global warming, with a decarbonization strategy aimed at all sectors of the economy and international trade.

The European Commission will present 13 policies in its “Adapted for 55” package – designed to tackle climate change by ensuring the continent meets its goal of reducing average greenhouse gas emissions by 55 per cent by 2030 and zero net by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.

The plan, surpassed by the European Union’s “man’s moment on the moon” by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, risks a backlash from the EU’s poorest countries and some supporting industries. that the pace of change and increased regulation will become a financial burden. The measures will also be closely scrutinized by the bloc’s trading partners as their companies suffer from exports of high-carbon products such as steel and cement.

The focus of the EU’s master plan is to extend the Emissions Trading Scheme, a system that makes companies pay for the cost of pollution. Brussels wants to go further to include emissions from the car industry and from heating buildings to accelerate the pace of decarbonisation.

Frans Timmermans, the executive vice-president of the commission in charge of green policy, called the package “arguably the largest transformation operation in living memory». The United States and the United Kingdom will follow with fervor how they develop EU plans while pursuing their ambitious zero-emission net targets.

One of the most anticipated measures is a mechanism for regulating EU carbon borders (CBAM). This will force importers of steel, cement, aluminum and fertilizers to pay rising coal costs confronted by European industry. The tax outlook has grown alarm from Russian companies which they say will be the worst hit.

The transport sector in Europe is facing the biggest shock as Brussels seeks to curb the carbon footprint of an industry whose emissions have been steadily rising since the 1990s.

The automotive industry is expected to be included in the ETS and new vehicles will be subject to stricter CO2 reduction standards for the next 15 years. The commission’s goals will be a de facto ban on the sale of new diesel and gasoline vehicles by 2035, according to officials. This will be accompanied by new rules to increase the availability of recharging points and encourage the move to electric vehicles.

Aviation and shipping will be penalized for pollution, with a tax on aviation and maritime fuels proposed for the first time. The maritime industry will also be part of the expanded ETS to cover intra-EU voyages from 2023.

The commission hopes ward off a political revolt above carbon prices by offering financial support for tens of billions of euros to help compensate families suffering from energy poverty.

Brussels admits that expanding the ETS will have an impact on poorer families who spend more of their income on heating bills and cannot easily afford to adopt greener forms of transport.

Proposals have already been generated opposition from certain governments and members of the European parliament who will have to approve reforms for them to come into force.

Pascal Canfin, French MEP and head of parliament’s environment committee, warned of the political consequences of “the mistake of expanding the coal-fired heating and fuel market”.

“We experienced it in France,” he said, referring to the populist the revolt against the planned gasolines in France in 2018. “He gave us the yellow vests (yellow vests). “

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