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EU announces drastic plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – News

The European Union and China have presented drastic plans to limit greenhouse gas emissions that increase industrial and consumer costs, but have been criticized by environmentalists for not being enough to delay climate change. received.

The move, which has been debated for a long time and is only months or years old when fully implemented, represents a new urgency to regulate emissions in two of the world’s largest economies.They come as The Biden administration promises its own bold initiative But Congress faces major obstacles.

Beijing and Brussels are also acting ahead of the world’s next climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland, in November. It hopes that the world’s largest powers will launch new initiatives to limit emissions.

On Wednesday, the EU proposed extensive economic reforms to significantly reduce block reliance on fossil fuels and locations. First type of taxation on imported goods From countries with high emissions.

The import tax program, which has been in place for months, has already been criticized by Block’s trading partners in developing countries, further encouraging companies to scrutinize emissions across their global supply chain. ..

“Our current fossil fuel economy has reached its limits.”

— Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Scientists say the bill, drafted by the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, is warming the planet by major economic powers to reduce emissions of other gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. It is ranked as one of the most ambitious plans. This calls for a major shift by businesses and homes to cleaner technologies such as wind turbines, solar power and electric vehicles. This includes the requirement to increase the share of renewable energy sources in the European energy mix from the current 20% to 40% in 2030. The plan aims to limit pollution across the European economy, including power generation, automobiles, housing, shipping and agriculture.

“Our current fossil fuel economy has reached its limits,” said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. “We know we have to move to a new model.”

China plans to launch this week Emissions trading system focused only on the companyEstablish the world’s largest carbon market and double the share of global emissions covered by such programs. Emissions trading systems increase the cost of products with the goal of pricing, increasing efficiency and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases produced by industry.

China’s plans will help reach peak emissions by 2030 and reach the goal of reaching carbon-neutral or net zero emissions by 2060, officials said at a press conference Wednesday. China is the world’s largest carbon emitter.

According to people familiar with the situation, a launch invitation was sent on Friday.

Initially, 2,225 companies in the power sector will participate in the trading program. According to calculations by the International Energy Agency, these companies account for one-seventh of the world’s carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels.

Chinese officials have indicated plans to add the cement, aluminum and steel sectors to the trading system next year. The timing and range are undecided, but it is expected that a stricter upper limit will be adopted in the future.

Over the next three to five years, the market will expand to seven more high-emission industries in China. Petrochemical, chemical, building materials, steel, non-ferrous metals, paper, domestic aviation.

Emissions trading is part of the EU’s broader program. The outline has gained strong support in the EU capital, but details need to be discussed vigorously by governments and the European Parliament within the next few months and the plan needs to be approved before it is enacted. Negotiators bridge the differences across the EU, from wealthy countries like France, which have relatively low emissions due to their reliance on nuclear power, to poor Eastern European countries such as Poland, which is a major user of coal-fired power. Work for

Policy makers are also wary of depriving the public of the fight against saddle emissions in households with a significant increase in energy prices. In France, plans to tax the carbon content of fuels have angered drivers Yellow vest protests of dissident..

A wind turbine that generates electricity at a wind farm in France.

Pascal Rossignol / Reuters

The Commission’s plan, called the European Green Deal, aims to achieve Block’s latest commitment under the Paris Climate Agreement. This is a 2015 agreement calling for countries to limit global warming to nearly 1.5 degrees Celsius below pre-industrial levels. The EU has already passed legislation requiring 55% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 and zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. ..

European environmental groups have unprecedented EU planning ambitions, but are still unable to meet the global warming goals of the Paris Agreement and avoid some of the disastrous consequences of climate change, such as drought and rising sea levels. Said not enough. level. The group states that the EU should aim to reduce emissions by 65% ​​by 2030.

“55% is not enough because this is a big crisis,” said Patrick Ten Brink, Deputy Secretary-General of the European Environment Agency, a group of environmental activists in the region.

In April, President Biden set a goal to increase US renewable energy, including 100% carbon-free electricity, by 2035. However, the country’s renewable energy standards sought by his administration will be removed from the infrastructure bill during negotiations with the Republican Party, and some goals will be achieved.

Promotion of emission reduction will be as follows Scientists say the effects of climate change are becoming more apparent Destructive from the scorching heat waves of the western United States to record high temperatures in the Arctic.

The EU proposal aims to significantly accelerate the schedule of blocks to reduce carbon emissions from power plants and other industrial facilities. Pollution needs to be reduced by 61% from 2005 levels by 2030, which is more ambitious than Block’s current target of 43% reduction. The proposed measures also aim to raise the price of allowances in the EU emission market to 60 euros, which is equivalent to at least $ 71, which is 1 metric ton of carbon dioxide.

Traders have raised the price of EU allowances this year to more than € 50 per metric ton in anticipation of stricter restrictions.

EU plans will impose border taxes on imports. This is an idea that has already trembled through the world’s supply chain and has been criticized by developing countries. The proposal aims to prevent so-called carbon leaks, which avoids stricter restrictions by shifting production to countries where manufacturers do not regulate carbon dioxide emissions so tightly or at all. is. Trading partners that set their own prices for carbon can deduct those costs from their carbon invoices for commodities at the EU border.

“Countries with ambitious programs on climate change have a very legitimate interest in ensuring that they address carbon breaches,” said US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in Brussels. He said on Tuesday in a meeting with EU officials. Yellen said countries such as the United States, which regulate carbon dioxide emissions using methods different from the EU, need to continue to gain credit under the EU system.

A house under construction in Munich, Germany.

christof stache / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images

This tax, called the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, will establish a new agency to monitor the carbon content of imported goods. Companies importing eligible products must register with EU agencies, hire companies and audit their suppliers’ greenhouse gas emissions.The proposal upset some U.S. officials, even though the Biden administration is considering a proposal to the U.S.

“I have no objection to its value in principle, but I think it’s very complicated,” said Jonathan Persing, an adviser to US climate envoy John Kerry, in May.

This rule first applies to imports of steel, fertilizers, cement and unfinished aluminum, and then to other products. Importers will need to begin monitoring and reporting the carbon content of eligible imports in 2023 and start paying in 2026 using the same price per ton of carbon dioxide as the EU emission allowance market. There is. That schedule and the fact that the United States is not a major exporter of the four target products to the EU means that US companies will not feel much impact at first.

Some non-European companies had already shifted their operations prior to the EU’s carbon tax proposal. RusalPLC, the world’s largest Russian aluminum maker outside of China, turned its high carbon assets into another company in May. You can focus on low carbon aluminum Use a cleaner energy source such as hydropower.

European companies in industries such as automobiles, metals, aviation and energy have greatly praised the EU’s announcement, but said it must be applied fairly throughout the industry and among domestic and international producers. EU regulations have already forced many companies to reduce emissions and do not want to face significant international disadvantages in terms of costs.

Write to Matthew Dalton [email protected] And Sha Hua [email protected]

Correction and amplification
The EU has promised to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990. Earlier versions of this article mistakenly stated that the 55% reduction was compared to EU emissions in 2005. (Corrected on July 14)

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