Increased taxes on fuels, millions of trees planted, the end of gasoline cars. Brussels today unveils package of environmental measures

The European Commission today unveils the ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package after the approval, in April, of the European Climate Law – which enshrines in European legislation the objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and a cut in gas emissions with the effect of greenhouse of at least 55% by 2030.

The package of 13 legislative proposals includes new policies and regulations, covering areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, construction, land use and emissions trading systems.

The package is expected to contain revisions to existing laws (such as amendments to the energy taxation directive and regulation for CO2 emissions for vehicles) and proposed new legislation. Is that make the directive legally binding to achieve 32.5% energy savings by 2030.

These are some of the measures that may be announced today, according to the EU Observer:

  • Make charging electric vehicles and refueling hydrogen for heavy vehicles as easy as refueling a traditional fuel vehicle – EU set target of one million charging points for electric vehicles by 2025 and three million by 2030;
  • Tougher CO2 limits for cars and vans in the EU and ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2035;
  • Introduction of a tax on fossil fuels used by the aviation industry – such as kerosene, oil and diesel – which will progressively increase over a period of ten years;
  • Airlines will have to stock up on a mix of fuels when taking off from European airports, which will include, from 2025, a 2% share of sustainable aviation fuels, which will rise to 63% by 2050 .
  • The exemption from taxes on aviation fuel (kerosene) is also expected to end, while green fuels will benefit from tax reductions;
  • For maritime transport, the new legislative proposal is expected to introduce “greenhouse gas intensity targets”;
  • The EU is expected to raise its current energy efficiency target of saving 32.5% energy by 2030 and make it legally binding;
  • Brussels to strengthen the “sustainability criteria” used to determine whether certain forest biomass can be considered renewable, with a commitment to protect the EU’s old-growth forests;
  • The EU must also present the forestry strategy, which aims to plant three billion trees by 2030;
  • Brussels to propose a new separate emissions trading system for the construction and road transport sectors;
  • Brussels wants to further prevent companies from transferring production to countries outside the EU with less stringent environmental rules, preventing the phenomenon of ‘carbon leakage’;
  • A Border Carbon Emission Adjustment Mechanism could be proposed, which has raised concerns in both the United States and China, who fear a protectionist measure, and which aims to ensure that European companies are not competitively harmed by the new environmental standards that will come into force in the community space.

After the presentation of the package in question, the set of 13 legislative proposals will pass to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, which represents all the Member States, which will enter into interinstitutional negotiations to approve the set of measures, a process it is anticipated that it will take several months.

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