The European Environmental Bureau (EBB) says that the European Commission is missing another historic opportunity to phase out fossil fuels in the ‘Fit for 55’ package.
ccording to EBB, EU’s decision “leaves the door open for coal, gas and oil to stay in the EU energy system for at least another two decades while sending the polluter pays bill to EU citizens.”
The European Commission will release on 14 July the latest instalment of the European Green Deal: ‘Fit for 55’. This package aims to align a wide range of EU policies with the EU’s 55% net emissions reduction target for 2030.
The most relevant EU green policy dossier of the year not only fails to provide climate-neutral roadmaps and sector-specific targets, but also continues to shield EU industry from paying the full cost of pollution
Introducing an Emissions Trading Scheme for buildings and transport while maintaining free CO2 allowances for industry and using public funds to finance fossil fuels in Europe will de facto shift the cost of pollution from the actual polluters to the final consumer.
What the Commission says is ‘Fit for 55’ is unfit for our planet and unfair to society. Without a fossil fuel phase-out, the fuel industry will pass on emission costs for buildings and transport to citizens and still keep making immense profits
believes Barbara Mariani, EEB Policy Manager for Climate.
Sectors that generate the greatest emissions and pollution are still excluded from the effort required to contribute to climate neutrality by using all the options already available today.
In addition, the targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency are far below the level of ambition needed to keep global warming below 1.5C and they are not binding at national level.
This will delay the energy transition in the member states, since the current EU climate and energy governance framework has proven insufficient to fill the gap
What is more, the Court of Auditors recently revealed a trend whereby public money is often spent to cover costs that polluters should pay.
Furterhmore, EBB noted that while some proposals in the ‘Fit for 55’ package are positive, such as the inclusion of maritime emissions in the ETS or the exclusion of fossil fuels projects from the scope of the Modernisation Fund, “others are mostly asking all citizens to pay again in order to keep fossil fuel industry alive, on top of the subsidies already provided.”
Now, EEB calls on member states and the European Parliament to demand an increase in the ambition and policy coherence of the ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package. Science requires it and citizens across Europe are demanding much bolder action to fight climate change.
Politics is the art of the possible and the Fit for 55 package demonstrates low confidence as to what is possible, despite the growing citizens’ cries for ambition and new records being broken on climate impacts this year
points out Patrick ten Brink, EEB Deputy Secretary General.
Additionally, Barbara Mariani, EEB Policy Manager for Climate, explains that Europeans will be asked to pay to save the fossil fuels industry and that “we are wasting the unprecedented financial potential of the EU recovery package to lock Europe into polluting and climate-change inducing practices.”
In the same wavelength, the EU law intended to drive the uptake of clean fuels by ships will actually lock in the use of fossil fuels for decades, says Transport & Environment.
Commenting on the EU law, Faig Abbasov, shipping programme director at T&E, said that counting fossil gas and biofuels as green will “lock shipping into decades of further pollution while we should be promoting renewable hydrogen and ammonia.”
Main EEB policy targets for the ‘Fit For 55’ :
➢ Climate neutrality to be reached by the EU by 2040
➢ A 65% GHG emissions reductions on 1990 levels by 2030
➢ A 2030 renewable energy target of 50% in final energy consumption
➢ A 2030 energy efficiency target of 45%
➢ An EU-wide coal phase out by 2030
➢ An EU-wide gas phase out by 2035
➢ An EU-wide phase out of fossil oil products by 2040
➢ Most nuclear power plants to be closed by 2040
➢ An EU-wide phase out for the sale of Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) cars, no later than 2035