The European Union today made a wide range of proposals that could significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions if the plan eventually becomes law. Internal combustion vehicles would be gradually by 2035, and would link aviation and shipping, as in the past with some EU climate policies. The bloc also intends to influence polluters outside its borders by making importers pay for their pollution.
All in all, it is a roadmap for achieving a goal that Europeans have been using for years. In 2019, The European Commission, the EU ‘s executive body, presented a green deal to reduce the continent’ s greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. Achieving this goal requires further action. So last year, the EU announced that it would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 pollution. (That is why the EU is calling the new proposals “55 years old”. teasing online.)
While ambitious, it is the kind of action needed to reach the scale of the climate crisis. Global warming emissions must be halved globally by this decade and eventually reach almost zero by the middle of the century, climate scientists have found. It will save us from the worst effects of climate change by meeting one of the objectives of the Paris Landmark Agreement, which is to limit global warming to around 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. Humans have already raised the global average temperature to 1.1 degrees warming, leading to more extreme weather conditions, coastal floods and species extinctions.
“This is the last or never the moment,” said European Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni Silveri opinion. “Every year, the terrible reality of climate change becomes more apparent: today we are reaffirming our determination to act before it is really too late.”
Perhaps the biggest change EU residents are experiencing is transport, which accounts for 22% of the bloc’s CO2 emissions. The Commission proposed raising emission standards for new cars and vans. Under the current proposal, they must reduce their pollution by 55% in 2030 and 100% by 2035. This will eventually take new gas-powered cars off the road.
The fuel used for shipping, aviation and heating buildings would also change according to plan. One of the EU’s biggest instruments for controlling pollution is its emissions trading scheme (ETS). This sets a cap on how much pollution certain industries can produce, and sets a price for coal. Aviation used to receive free allowances, but the Commission now wants them to pay for coal in full, as do other industries. Shipping would be regulated by the new plan’s emissions trading scheme, and a similar but separate scheme would be created for road transport and buildings. It would encourage each sector to increase energy efficiency and move faster to cleaner fuels.
The EU does not want the price of coal to harm European companies or encourage more polluting countries abroad. So it also proposed imposing a carbon price or tax on products such as steel and cement that have large carbon footprints. This provision could create a loophole with the World Trade Organization, New York Times reports. However, the measure aims to encourage higher environmental standards for industry worldwide.
Renewable energy must replace most fossil fuels if the EU is to meet its climate targets. The Commission now estimates that renewable energy sources will account for 40% of total energy production by 2030. Renewable energy, including solar and wind, accounts for just over 15% of EU energy production. energy mix in 2019.
In addition to reducing anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, the EU also wants to improve their emissions through natural carbon sinks, such as forests. It wants to plant 3 billion trees on the continent by 2030. The protection of forests and other ecosystems is important for plants, humans and animals. But repairing the climate by planting new trees has been awkward, controversial attempt.
This makes the other proposed EU pollution reduction plans the main priorities of the Roadmap. However, the plan will not materialize immediately. It may take a couple of years for the proposals to be adopted by the European Parliament and the Member States.