The EU's tax is intended to prevent "carbon leakage" -- carbon emissions that go offshore in response to carbon pricing -- rather than actually being cut. The EU tax will be imposed on carbon intensive imports and will be equivalent to what EU-based industry must pay under the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).(Source: EU, European Parliment, Mar. 2020) Contact: EU, www.europa.eu
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The European Commission (EC) is expected to unveil its proposal for a carbon border tax in June as part of a package of climate laws aimed at cutting the EU's CO2 emissions by 55 pct by 2030. (Source: European Commissions, euractive, 10 Mar., 2021)
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The EC's approvals must now pass the European Parliament's muster. (Source: European Commission, PR, Various Media, 12 Dec., 2020)
Contact: European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, Pres., ec.europa.eu; European Green Deal, www. ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en
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The Clean Arctic Alliance is calling on world leaders to take urgent action to curb Arctic heating, by accelerating national and regional policies and practices that will fulfill the goals of the Paris Agreement, especially that of limiting the increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius -- requiring an at least 60 pct reduction in climate emissions by 2030, something to which the European Parliament has already agreed upon." -- John Maggs, Senior Policy Advisor at Seas at Risk -- a Clean Arctic Alliance member, and president of the Clean Shipping Coalition , Clean Arctic Alliance. Contact: Clean Arctic Alliance, www.hfofreearctic.org
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To begin to address the challenge ahead, the European Commission (EC) published the 2019 Communication on the European Green Deal (EGD), a growth strategy to reset the EC's commitment to tackling climate change. The EGD outlined an all-sector approach to reducing emissions and decoupling economic growth from resource use. The EC committed to presenting an impact assessed plan to increase the existing target for 2030 of reducing emissions by 40 pct to at least 50 pct to 55 pct against 1990 levels.
Based on this impact assessment, the EC published a Communication on Stepping up 2030 Europe's Climate Ambition (Climate Target Plan) in September 2020 proposing to increase the 2030 target to at least 55 pct emissions reduction by 2030. Under the Climate Target Plan renewable energy would meet 38 pct to 40 pct of gross final consumption in 2030, and energy consumption would further reduce in 2030, achieving savings of 36--37 pct (final energy consumption -- total energy consumed by end users) and 39--41 pct (primary energy consumption -- total energy used to meet final energy needs).
Previously this month, the European Parliament (EP) voted to up the 2030 target to 60 pct , and urged the EC to explore options for setting 2040 targets and negative post-2050 targets. The EP also sought a greater role in setting the indicative trajectory for achieving the target, an EU carbon budget, and a more explicit focus on emissions in the maritime and aviation transport sectors.
Timmermans noted that although GHG emissions are not currently falling fast enough he underlined that becoming carbon neutral is both feasible and beneficial for the EU. He called for the European Parliament (EP) to confirm the proposed 55 pct 2030-target as the EU's new Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Climate Agreement, and to submit this to the UNFCCC by the end of this year. The EP is expected to vote next week on the EU Climate Law, which calls for 60 pct emission reductions in 2030. Timmermans also noted the EC would come up with proposals by June 2021 to revise key EU legislation such as the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and strengthening CO2 standards for road vehicles to enable the EU to reach a more ambitious target.
As previously reported this past March, the EC proposed climate legislation requiring the EU to become climate-neutral by 2050 as part of the European Green Deal. This follows the December 2019 EC decision to endorse the 2050 climate-neutrality objective. On 17 September, the Commission amended its proposal to incorporate a new 2030 emissions reduction target.
(Source: European Commissions, PR, EU News Room, Oct., 2020) Contact: EU, www.europa.eu
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The European Commission (EC) proposed that reporting obligations by the EU and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) should be aligned. While MEBs agree, they noted that the IMO has made insufficient progress in reaching a global agreement on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Parliamentarians have therefore asked the Commission to examine the environmental integrity of the measures decided by the IMO as well as the targets set under the Paris Agreement.
Although the Parliament demands that ships of 5000 gross registered tons or more should be included in the ETS, many parliamentarians still feel that this is not enough and are calling for shipping companies to reduce their annual average CO2 emissions per transport service for all their ships by at least 40 pct by 2030. (Source: EP, elecdrive, 17 Sept., 2020)Contact: International Maritime Organization (IMO), Stefan Micallef, Director of Marine Environment Division, +44 (0) 20 7735 7611, www.imo.org
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The new target requires individual EU member nation approval as well European Parliament approval. The commission is expected to propose legislation containing the ETS reforms by June 2021. (Source: European Commission, Arab News, 13 Sept., 2020)
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The Green Recovery Alliance was launched in the European Parliament on April 14, 2020, based on calls from 12 EU environment ministers. They had signed the appeal for a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic which is causing unforeseen consequences to people's health and the economy. The Alliance for a Green Recovery calls for the mobilisation of post-crisis green investment packages and other concrete measures including job protection and creation and support for companies, regions and sectors that have suffered from the pandemic.
According to Bioenergy Europe, the "With 10.3 pct of contribution to the energy mix and more than 700,000 jobs, the bioenergy sector is already a strong socio-economic reality and is committed to contributing to the post-crisis investment decisions needed to reboot and re-boost our economy." (Source: Bioenergy Europe, PR, News Europe, Trade Media, 16 April, 2020)
Contact: Bioenergy Europe
Jean-Marc Jossart, Sec. Gen., www.bioenergyeurope.org
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In a manifesto -- Creating a Low Carbon World, the Case for a Carbon Border Adjustment -- ArcelorMittal notes CBA should be one of the first Green Deal measures adopted by the new European Commission, as it will help to create the market conditions and protections needed for companies to make investments and transition to carbon neutrality without disruption.
Download ArcelorMittal's Climate Action in Europe manifesto
HERE. (Source: ArcelorMittal, Mar., 2020)
Contact: ArcelorMittal, Alan Knight, Corporate Responsibility GM, +32 9 347 31 11, www.corporate.arcelormittal.com
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The European Parliament and the EU's climate chief Miguel Arias Canete have called for the bloc to aim for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, saying legislation passed since the Paris Climate Agreement puts the EU on track to surpass its current emissions reduction target.
Poland and other EU member states that rely on coal for power production , along with Germany and its its powerful automotive sector, balk at deeper emission cuts.
(Source: Various Media, Reuters, CNBC, June, 2019)
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The new legislation demands that the full life-cycle of emissions from cars should be assessed at EU level. The Commission will also have to consider a common methodology for the assessment and consistent data reporting, by no later than 2023. If appropriate, legislation should follow.
Transport is the only sector in the EU that did not record any significant decline in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since 1990. Figures from the European Environment Agency show that of all means of transport in the EU, road transport generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions -pct of the EU's total GHG emissions. (Source: European Parliament News, 27 Mar., 2019) Contact: EP News, +32 2 28 40922, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.europarl.europa.eu
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With this agreement, overall truck emissions will now have to be slashed by 30 pct by the end of the next decade, with a 15 pct benchmark as a stepping stone in 2025. Manufacturers failing to meet the goals will be fined an "emissions premium" penalty.
The 2030 target will now be a binding goal but a review will be made in 2022, where Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and clean mobility advocates will hope for more ambitious reductions.
(Source: DW, EURACTIV, Others, 19 Feb., 2019)
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To prepare for this transformation, the European Parliament and the European Council invited the European Commission (EC) to submit a long-term strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for the European Union, in accordance with COP15.
The EC strategy confirms Europe's commitment to lead in global climate action through a socially-fair transition and provides a first indication of the direction of travel to frame what the EU could consider as its long-term contribution to achieving the Paris Agreement temperature objectives.
Presenting this vision will allow for a thorough debate involving European decision-makers, stakeholders and citizens at large to consider how the EU can make a fair contribution to meeting the long-term temperature goals of the Paris Agreement and how this transformation can be achieved.
The EP will now need to work with ministers from all European member states, as well as the European Commission, to see its target passed into legislation. According to Deutsche Welle, the parliament decided on this tough target as the transport sector was the only one in the EU which continues to increase its greenhouse gas emissions, according to the publication Deutsche Welle.
In 2017, the European Commission (EC) proposed cutting new vehicle emissions by 30 pct by 2030.
(Source: EP, Car Advice, Oct., 2018) Contact: European Parliament, Baptiste Chatain. +32 228 40992, email@example.com, eurooparl.europa.eu
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Germany reportedly blocked a previous effort to set an even higher renewables target of 35 pct called for by the European Parliament and member states including Spain and Italy, saying it is unrealistic. The country, which still relies on coal to generate much of its electricity, announced last week that it would not meet its 2020 emissions target due to economic and population growth.
In addition to the newly agreed targets, the EU set a wider goal of bringing greenhouse gas emissions to 40 pct below levels in 1990. Member state governments will now devise their own plans to meet these goals, in line with the Paris Agreement.
Green Group MEPs and environmental campaigners, however, said the new targets are not sufficient to meet goals set by the Paris Agreement, particularly limiting warming to below 2 degrees Celsius.
The final deal allows the EU to revisit climate goals in 2023 and increase the agreed targets if so desired.
(Source: EU, European Scientist, 23 June, 2018)
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The EU's new policy will start reducing crude palm oil imports gradually in 2023 before the complete banning effective in 2030. Until then, the percentage of palm oil in EU biofuel will be kept at 2019 levels.
Indonesia and Malaysia, which account for 85 pct of the world's palm oil supply, reportedly expressed relief in response to the EU decision while the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) said that although the EU decision was "very welcome" the upcoming ban would cause it to aggressively seek new markets.
Under current EU law, palm oil must come from certified sustainable plantations. Even so, environmentalists note that palm oil diesel still produces three times the carbon emissions of fossil diesel.
Environmental organizations and green activists accuse the palm oil industry of causing massive deforestation and rainforest destruction, thus hastening climate change. (Source: Malaysian Palm Oil Council, Citizen Truth, 24 June, 2018)Contact: Malaysian Palm Oil Council, www.mpoc.org.my
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The EU June 14 meeting agreed on a revised EU Renewable Energy Directive including a gradual reduction of certain biofuels calculated to meet ambitious renewable energy use target of 32 pct by 2030. According to the ambassador,
there is no specific or explicit reference to palm oil in the RED II Text and no prohibition or restriction on palm oil imports or palm oil based biofuels.
The relevant provisions in RED II are only aimed at regulating the extent to which certain biofuels can be calculated by EU member states to achieve their sustainable energy targets.
(Source: EU, Neutral English, Various Media, 17 June, 2018)
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Rutte told a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the European Union's aim to reduce carbon emissions, which scientists hold responsible for global warming, by at least 40 pct below 1990 levels by 2030, "is not enough" and proposed a 55 pct reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Studies have shown that reducing carbon emissions has become less costly as the price of generating electricity from renewable energy has come down over the past years.
Still, climate policy remains a contentious issue in the European Union which often pits countries looking for tougher reduction targets against newer member states in the East which rely more on coal-powered plants for energy. (Source: Cyprus Mail Online, 13 June, 2018)
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