The EU has come up with a dozen proposals to form its most aggressive climate plan. Among the proposals is a plan to ban the production and sale of gas-powered vehicles and to tax jet fuel. The drafts still need to be approved by the bloc’s 27 member states and the EU parliament. Despite a positive outlook, the proposals are likely to come under some opposition from member states.
Reliable reports indicate that the final drafting of the proposals caused serious infighting among the EU’s administrative arm. However, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said that the commission is committed to choosing a healthier and more prosperous future.
“By acting now we can do things another way… and choose a better, healthier and more prosperous way for the future,” said von der Leyen. “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.”
One plan includes a call for tighter emission limits for cars, which would go into effect by 2035 if adopted. Further, there is a proposal to have a carbon border tariff, which would require countries outside the EU to pay more for importing materials such as steel. The commission is also looking to expand renewable energy.
There are concerns that if the measures are approved, they may increase the cost of living. The proposals could also lead to an increase in heating bills and increase the cost of flights. “We’re going to ask a lot of our citizens,” said Frans Timmermans, EU climate policy chief. “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.”
Airline and other affected industry leaders are expected to oppose any proposals that may affect operations. Eastern member states that still rely heavily on coal are also expected to oppose some proposals.
The measures are called the Fit for 55 Package, as they aim to reduce emissions by 55% from the 1990 levels. Currently, the EU has managed to cut emissions by 24%, being one of the leading regions in the world to reduce emissions.
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