A passenger plane approaching Hanover Airport is flying over the canola fields.
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London — The European Union detailed on Wednesday how it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next few years. This plan has the potential to revolutionize many sectors, from air travel to shipping.
The 27-member block is carbon-neutral by 2050 and pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% from 1990 levels to 2030.
In a broad proposal, the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, outlined how it could be achieved.
“The fossil fuel economy has reached its limits. We will leave a healthy planet for the next generation and do a good job of not damaging our nature,” Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said in a statement. I want to keep growing. ” It has been released.
The main policy change is to expand the block emissions trading scheme. Under this plan, companies can exchange allowances to ensure that the total greenhouse gas emissions of facilities and aircraft operators are within certain limits.
The Commission hopes to phase out free quotas for the aviation industry and include transportation for the first time. Apart from this, EU executives also want a new emissions trading system for road transport and building fuel distribution.
The automotive sector is one of the hardest hits by the new regulations, and the Commission is proposing a de facto ban on diesel and petrol vehicles by 2035.
EU officials who didn’t want to be named because of the sensitivity of the negotiations said on Wednesday that all new cars and vans must be zero-emission vehicles by 2035.
This means that charging points need to be regularly available on major highways. Every 60 kilometers for charging and every 150 kilometers for hydrogen refueling.
The official added that it will be abolished from 2030, although there are incentives. “We will monitor (this sector) very carefully,” sources said.
In addition, the latest plan aims for EU countries to produce 40% of their energy demand through renewable energy sources by 2030.
The Commission wants to introduce a carbon border adjustment mechanism that can be explained as an environmental tax. It is designed to prevent products manufactured elsewhere from being imported into the EU with less stringent emission regulations.
It will force EU companies to pay carbon adjustments to import goods from outside the block. The price tag will be the same as what an EU company would have paid if the goods were produced under EU carbon pricing rules.
The United States had previously expressed concern about Europe’s carbon border tax plans. U.S. Supreme Climate Envoy John Kerry told FT in March that the border tax would have serious economic and trade implications. “Last resort” tool.
The same EU official said Wednesday that taxes would be applied to businesses rather than individual countries.
The Commission’s idea is to gradually introduce this levy. First, the cement, steel, aluminum, fertilizer and electricity sectors will follow the new rules, followed by the other sectors.
The Commission also stated that it would like to update its rules on taxation of electricity, motors, aviation fuel and heating — known as the Energy Taxation Directive.
This has been in place since 2003, but the Commission currently believes it is out of sync with the Green Agenda.
In a document submitted to reporters Wednesday, the Commission stated that the current minimum rates are outdated. He said there was no incentive for cleaner fuels and there was no link between tax levels and environmental impact.
This means that airlines are more likely to pay more for fuel and may pass on those costs to consumers. The same is true for homes when heating a home.
The Commission recognizes that all these proposals are costly. Vulnerable and energy-poor households are exempt from taxation on heating fuels, and member states receive funds to invest in energy efficiency.
One idea is to use revenue from emissions trading schemes so that EU countries can compensate for the cost of transitioning to vulnerable citizens.
Wednesday’s proposal will begin discussions within EU institutions. It takes time and rigorous negotiations to bring all EU countries and the European Parliament together on the same page.
This is because the Commission’s ideas affect different EU economies in different ways. Countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary are particularly concerned as they have to undertake major, costly transformations.
In addition, authorities also remember widespread protests in France that suspended the country in late 2018 and early 2019 after French President Emmanuel Macron offered an ecotax on fuels.