The EU must adopt braver climate and energy legislation

The EU must adopt braver climate and energy legislation
The EU must adopt bolder climate and energy legislation.
  • The European Union has been negotiating for months the reform of climate legislative packages to adjust them to the 55% emissions reduction target agreed in July 2021.
  • On June 7, the reports of some of the most important mechanisms in the European climate fight will be voted on in the plenary session of the European Parliament.

For Ecologists in Action, and for many other European organizations, the European objective is still far from the commitment to do everything possible to avoid an increase in global temperature of 1.5 ºC. Therefore, the environmental organization calls on members of the European Parliament to increase the overall ambition of the package and ensure that EU policies are adequate, fair and reduce total emissions by at least 65 % by 2030. Commission proposal for 2030 only adds up to a reduction of 52.8 % of real emissions (–55 % of net emissions).

Emission reduction commitments that must be binding for all states, an objective whose compliance must be enforceable and verifiable through a robust Shared Efforts Regulation (ESR). Although the European Commission's proposal increases from 30 to 40 %, the reduction compared to 2005 levels is still insufficient since, taking into account a fair contribution, this reduction should be at least 50 % in 2030. The current The proposal for this regulation could allow Member States to lighten their national objectives by presenting an emissions budget that is too generous or to use the legal loopholes in the proposal, potentially reducing the regulation's objective by up to seven percentage points.

This mechanism covers only a part of the total emissions, those considered diffuse, which represent around 60 % of the emissions recorded. The rest correspond to various energy and industrial sectors that are covered by the Emissions Trading System (or ETS). For these sectors, the Commission proposes a small increase in reductions from 43 % to 61 % compared to 2005. An objective very far from the reduction of at least 70 % that should be achieved to try to limit the increase in temperature by 1, 5ºC. A reduction that should occur through a higher emissions cap than that proposed by the Commission, and an increase in the Linear Reduction Factor (LRF) that should further reduce the new annual withdrawals of emission rights.

It is worth remembering how the application of the ETS system has already shown numerous problems in its application since 2005. As stated in numerous reports such as the report 'A New Hope: recommendations for the EU Emissions Trading System review' by Carbon Market Watch, the Reductions in these sectors are due almost exclusively to the penetration of renewable energies in the electrical system, while a trend of increasing emissions from the rest of the sectors continues to be observed. A mechanism that has favored large companies that, as Ecologistas en Acción has denounced on numerous occasions, receive additional benefits by resorting to these market systems.

For Javier Andaluz, head of climate and energy at Ecologistas en Acción, “the European Union continues to insist on using these erroneous market measures, which, it seems, hides the inability to act through legislative measures and insufficient political commitment.” And he adds: “Without developing coherent planning and leaving the climate fight to the will of the markets, we will not only be unable to reduce our emissions but we will continue to increase precariousness and social vulnerability.”

Along with the reform of these two important packages, the European Commission proposed a new emissions trading system starting in 2025 that would include the road transport and residential sectors, with a reduction target of 43 % by 2030 in relation to with 2005.

Ecologistas en Acción considers this a tremendous mistake. Not only because of the problems of subjecting the decarbonization of these sectors to market logic, but also because it would have perverse effects on the increase in the price of some essential services for the most vulnerable people. Thus, a bad policy on the price of certain products would be faced equally by “rich and poor”, with the latter being the ones who will receive the greatest impact.

The organization once again shows its rejection of the ETS2 instrument. For the organization, if this proposal is finally approved, it would be essential to strengthen redistribution mechanisms such as the Social Climate Fund (SCF). All revenue generated by the new ETS must be used for climate action and the just transition. The fund must effectively focus on supporting low-income households and the most vulnerable communities and must begin several years before the new carbon market comes into effect.

The solution to the climate crisis, as well as the fight for peace, requires more decisive commitments. Continuing to finance fossil infrastructure, such as those proposed by the European Commission within its 'RePower EU' plan, or continuing to trust in the same logic and the same companies that have brought us to the current situation will cause us to lose the opportunity to avoid global warming. global above 1.5 ºC. This has been confirmed by the latest IPCC report and the World Meteorological Organization's Global Climate Report, which underline that bold and unprecedented action is essential in this decade. The EU should do this by adopting a much braver set of climate and energy legislation.

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