The EU will this summer unveil a range of new policy measures to help the bloc reach its ambitious, legally binding emissions targets for 2030, the EU's most senior climate politician revealed this morning.
These include new targets for renewable energy, changes to tax rules to ensure that electricity does not face higher levies than oil and gas, and a new carbon border adjustment mechanism.
On Tuesday morning, Frans Timmermans, the vice-president for the European Green Deal, gave delegates to the Eurelectric Power Summit a sneak preview of the European Commission’s forthcoming Fit for 55 package, which will effectively set out how the EU will meet its target of 55% emissions reductions (compared to 1990 levels) by 2030.
“This summer, we will present a number of proposals to meet our 55% emissions reduction target [by 2030] and make our legislative framework fit for 55,” he said.
“We have to shift the whole of our economy into higher gear, so we’re leaving no stone unturned. Fit for 55 will align our laws with our ambition. We will strengthen the EU Emissions Trading System, update the Energy Taxation Directive and propose new CO2 standards for cars, new energy efficiency standards for buildings, new targets for renewables, and new ways of supporting clean fuels and infrastructure for clean transport.”
He added that the commission was “also looking at possibly expanding the Emissions Trading System to new sectors, such as road transport, buildings and maritime navigation”.
“On top of this, the new carbon border adjustment mechanism will help us prevent carbon leakage instead of outsourcing our emissions,” he said. This means that goods from outside the EU that have higher carbon emissions than their European equivalents will face some kind of tariff to ensure that EU companies can compete on a level playing field with non-European competitors.
It has often been said that such an import tax could start international trade wars, with other countries creating tit-for-tat tariffs on European imports.
“In large part, this package builds on legislation that is tested, proven and effective in bringing down emissions,” said Timmermans.
“Overall, it signals a shift towards stronger carbon pricing across the economy. This will mean a more level playing field for all fuels and ending the relative disadvantage for electricity.”