Accelerating Europe’s climate ambitions has never been more urgent for the European Commission. Floods in Belgium and Germany. Fires in Greece and Spain. A sign to scientists that the climate crisis is fueling more devastating natural disasters.
“There is a huge responsibility on our shoulders because if we don’t act now, and I mean immediately, then our children will never forgive us,” said Frans Timmermans, European Commission executive vice-president for the European Green Deal, Parliament.
“This is the essence of the IPCC report that if we don’t act now, points of no return will be reached very soon. We have no choice, we must act. And one thing I hope is to avoid is that we are paralyzed by the fear of change. “
Timmermans was in Strasbourg to defend the Commission’s Fit for 55 package. To make Europe climate neutral, Brussels wants to reduce its emissions by 55% by 2030. But getting EU countries to give up their carbon habits is easier said than done. The block is divided over who should foot the bill. For some, the burden should be on polluting industries, not on the average citizen.
“We need to end public subsidies for fossil fuels, remove free pollution certificates, complete the renovation wave with a solar wave and accelerate the shift to renewables,” Ska Keller, Green MEP from Germany.
Anna Zalewska, MEP from Poland, said citizens were starting to ask questions about increases in energy prices: “They are asking questions about price increases because they are the ones who will foot the bill for ambitions. climate change in the EU.
The Commission’s proposals range from phasing out petrol and diesel cars by 2035 to new taxes on gas from heating buildings, as well as taxes on air and maritime emissions.
A global surge in energy prices this year has focused minds on the cost of the green transition to the consumer. Something that will fuel many heated debates in the EU before the Green deal turns from promise to reality.
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