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EU Reveals an Extensive Climate Change Strategy

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The European Union (EU) declared a raft of climate change legislation. Its purpose is to lead climate change towards its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

 On Wednesday, about a dozen draft proposals were announced. These proposals are still required to be approved by the bloc’s 27 member states and the EU parliament.

 They include plans to tax jet fuel and effectively ban the sale of petrol and diesel powered cars within 20 years.

 However, these proposals are expected to face a long negotiation.

 This caused serious squabbling at the European Commission, the bloc’s administrative arm, as the concluding twists were being made.

“By acting now we can do things another way… and choose a better, healthier and more prosperous way for the future,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday.

 “It is our generational task… [to secure] the wellbeing of not only our generation, but of our children and grandchildren. Europe is ready to lead the way.”

 As a result of this, the household heating bills might rise along with the cost of flights in the EU. Nevertheless, financial assistance will be offered to people to install insulation and make changes to their homes.

 “We’re going to ask a lot of our citizens,” EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans said. “We’re also going to ask a lot of our industries, but we do it for good cause. We do it to give humanity a fighting chance.”

Disapproval is also expected from some industry leaders, such as airlines and vehicle producers, along with the eastern member states that rely profoundly on coal.

One EU diplomat told Reuters that the success of the package would rest on its ability to be realistic and socially fair, while also not destabilising the economy.

“The aim is to put the economy on a new level, not to stop it,” they said.

The measures billed as the EU’s most striving plan yet to tackle climate change, have been named the Fit for 55 packages because they would put the bloc on track to meet its 2030 goal of reducing emissions by 55% from 1990 levels.

By 2019, the EU had cut its emissions by 24% from 1990 levels.

Some of the key proposals include:

  • Tighter emission limits for cars, which are expected to effectively end new petrol and diesel vehicle sales by 2035
  • A tax on aviation fuel, and a 10-year tax holiday for low-carbon alternatives
  • A so-called carbon border tariff, which would require manufacturers from outside the EU to pay more for importing materials like steel and concrete
  • More ambitious targets for escalating renewable energy around the bloc
  • A requirement for countries to more quickly renovate buildings that are not deemed energy efficient

 

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