Ursula von der Leyen, the incoming president of the European Union’s executive Commission, has made combating climate change one of her top priorities.
She is expected to lay out details of her “European Green Deal” after taking office on Dec. 1 and deliver it within 100 days.
As U.N. climate talks get underway in Madrid next week, here is a rundown of what we know about von der Leyen’s plan to make the EU “the world’s first climate-neutral continent” by 2050.
MORE AMBITIOUS 2030 EMISSIONS TARGETS
Von der Leyen has said she wants the EU to reduce carbon emissions by at least 50% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels, considerably more than the current agreed goals of 40% by 2030.
She has also committed to exploring the possibility of raising the target to as high as 55% in a “responsible way”.
These ambitions have been criticized from all sides: some say a 55% target would cripple European industries while green organizations are pushing for 60% or even 70% cuts by 2030.
NEW CARBON AND EMISSIONS TAXES
As part of the European Green Deal, the Commission will start work immediately on a carbon border tax on polluting foreign firms in an effort to shelter EU businesses striving to become environmentally friendly.
Von der Leyen has said the new tax will comply with World Trade Organization rules and start on a “number of selected industries.” In October, steel giant ArcelorMittal Europe came out in favor of a carbon border tax, calling it “effective and fair.”
She will also reform the EU’s emissions trading system, which taxes polluting industries, and will work to include the maritime and aviation sectors as well as the traffic and construction sectors.
JUST TRANSITION FUND
Several of the EU’s 28 member states, predominantly from eastern Europe, have flagged that they need significant financial aid to transition away from fossil fuels. The incoming Commission’s answer is the Just Transition Fund.
The new Commission has not communicated how large the fund might be. Its size will depend on the outcome of negotiations on the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027 and the bloc’s cohesion funds, but is expected to amount to tens of billions of euros.
The Just Transition Fund would allow fossil fuel-dependent regions to finance their transition to clean industries and energy sources and retrain workers for higher-tech sustainable industries.
The European Investment Bank (EIB), the EU’s lending arm, decided on Nov. 15 to cease funding fossil fuel projects at the end of 2021. This move is in line with von der Leyen’s goals for the bank, which she wants to turn into “Europe’s climate bank”.
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Si ripeterà su scala istituzionale la farsa già vista con Greta Thunberg.
Di questi giorni si è tenuta la Cop25, una riunione di 25,000 partecipanti a spese dei pubblici erari.
«La crisi climatica non riguarda solo l’ambiente naturale. È una crisi di diritti umani, di giustizia e di volontà politica. I sistemi di oppressione colonialista, razzista e patriarcale l’hanno creata e alimentata».
«Nonostante le proteste, non è stato fatto nulla».
«Stiamo scioperando da un anno ma non è successo ancora nulla. Si sta ignorando la crisi climatica e finora non c’è una soluzione sostenibile»
«I politici cercano disperatamente di farci tacere, ma continueremo ad andare avanti»
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In estrema sintesi, Miss Greta Thunberg è costretta ad ammettere che tutta questa grandiosa macchina di propaganda ha fatto un buco nell’acqua.
Il ‘clima’ è sempre stato un progetto portante dei liberal democratici negli Stati Uniti e del liberal socialisti in Europa.
Questi in sede europarlamento hanno barattato la cessazione dell’ostruzionismo con il lancio di un European Green Deal, guidato dall’immarcescibile Herr Frans Timmermans, icona classica dei liberal europei.
Il varo dovrebbe avvenire l’11 dicembre, in pompa magna.
Un progetto di diverse migliaia di pagine da far invidia ai ben più modesti Gosplan.
La prima parte contiene una truculenta ed apocalittica visione di un universo distrutto dalla mutazione climatica, mentre nella seconda, invece dell’Arcangelo Michele, compare Herr Frans Timmermans, il salvatore dell’universo, che antro il 2050 renderà l’Unione Europea un parariso ecologico dietro modesto esborso di richiesto, ipotizzato, di circa 1,300 miliardi di euro.
Anche la salvezza ha un suo costo.
A questo punto va in scena la farsa.
«The Just Transition Fund would allow fossil fuel-dependent regions to finance their transition to clean industries and energy sources and retrain workers for higher-tech sustainable industries »
«The new Commission has not communicated how large the fund might be. Its size will depend on the outcome of negotiations on the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027 and the bloc’s cohesion funds, but is expected to amount to tens of billions of euros»
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«tens of billions of euros»
Con questa cifra si mantengono a stento parlamentari e burocrati liberal socialisti europei.
Il lancio dello European Green Deal, uno dei punti centrali del programma della Commissione Von der Leyen (nella foto), avverrà l’11 dicembre. Ma circola già a Bruxelles la prima bozza della comunicazione che contiene l’elenco degli elementi strategici del pacchetto. L’Ue metterà in campo “una serie di politiche profondamente trasformative”, con una “legge sul clima” in cui rientrerà l’obiettivo della neutralità climatica per il 2050. Si lavorerà sui temi “energia pulita, economica e sicura”, per “una strategia per la sostenibilità industriale e per un’economia circolare e neutrale dal punto di vista del clima”, si prenderanno in esame i materiali edili e costruttivi, la mobilità emissioni zero. La trasformazione riguarderà anche la protezione di ecosistemi e biodiversità; il sistema agro-alimentare (“Dalla fattoria alla forchetta” il titolo provvisorio di questo pacchetto); la lotta contro “tutte le fonti di inquinamento” dell’aria e dell’acqua. Un secondo filone di lavoro sarà volto a “integrare la sostenibilità” in tutti i settori (finanza, fiscalità, ricerca e innovazione, istruzione e formazione, digitale). Un capitolo riguarderà la dimensione sociale con una “iniziativa per una transizione equa”, dai contenuti al momento non ancora definiti; compare un “patto climatico europeo” che dovrà coinvolgere i Paesi Ue e tutti gli stakeholders. Tra i punti della bozza anche il coinvolgimento dei cittadini, la responsabilità sociale d’impresa, città, aree rurali e regioni, lo sguardo alla dimensione internazionale.
The European commissioner for the Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, warned on Thursday (6 December) that although the fight against climate change requires a huge investment from the public and the private sector, “the costs of non-action are tremendously high”.
“All levels of government will have to play their role if we want to succeed in shaping our collective future, this is not something that national governments can do alone,” Timmermans said at the Committee of the Regions.
“We need the European Union to lead [the ecological transition], but it will mean nothing if there are no concrete measures at the local level,” he added.
The first-ever European climate law to achieve a transition to climate-neutrality by 2050 will be officially presented in March 2020, although the package will be unveiled by Timmermans on December 11.
The EU Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said on Wednesday that she wants to use the EU budget and European Investment Bank to reach €100bn for the Just Transition Fund that would help countries to adapt their industries to the low-carbon economy.
The budget will be discussed by EU leaders next Thursday and Friday at their summit in Brussels.
The Just Transition Fund would partly be used to soften the positions of Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, which have objected to the EU’s 2050 climate-neutrality goal – the main pillar of the Green Deal.
However, the announcement of this fund, originally expected before the next week’s EU summit, has been delayed until January.
As a result, it is unclear if all member states will be able to unanimously agree on the commitment of making the EU climate-neutral by 2050 during the EU council. But Timmermans seemed optimistic.
“These member states know that their energy mix is not sustainable, not only from the climate perspective but also from the economic aspect,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“These countries fear the transition [period] and whether they can afford it”, he said, adding that “these member states can ask for European solidarity, [but] the European Union should chip in”.
“I am sure that once the urgency of this sinks in, we will be able to mobilise the finance that we need,” he added.
Taxation in Green Deal?
According to Timmermans, “there is no way that we can do this [ecological transformation] if we don’t look at taxation”.
However, the “set of deeply transformative policies” that appear in a draft document of the Green Deal leaked last Friday does not mention a carbon border tax on imports or a fuel tax for the aviation and shipping sectors.
The carbon border tax cannot be excluded from the debate, Timmermans said, adding that if other parts of the word do not take measures to comply with the Paris Agreement, “it is our duty as Europeans to protect our industry and economy against the unfair competition on the basis of a larger carbon footprint”.
According to the European commissioner for economy, Paolo Gentiloni, “the modernisation of the Energy Tax Directive is needed to reach our climate goals, [since] the directive as it stands is incoherent and unable to deliver EU climate and energy goals”.
“Any [new] initiative should revise the treatment of electricity and natural gas products and streamline the wide range of tax differentiations, reductions and exemptions and the current subsidies for fossil fuels,” said Gentiloni.
Additionally, most member states voiced their concerns about the lack of fuel taxation on the aviation (kerosene tax) and the maritime sector.
Although Malta pointed out that abolishing fuel tax exemptions on the aviation and maritime sector could have an impact on the connectivity of the island.
Timmermans believes that “it does not have any sense that we tax fuel when we put it in a car but not when we put it in a plane”.
However, according to Gentiloni, the commission will carry out an impact assessment to identify problems, such as connectivity or competitiveness issues, before they deliver a proposal for the modernisation of the EU energy taxation framework that will be “ambitious but inclusive”.