EU to Unveil Fit for 55 Plans for Emissions Reduction
The European Commission is set to unveil a vast package of draft green legislation designed to govern a faster transition to a low carbon economy on 14 July 2021. A dozen legal texts already under attack from political interests, industry lobbies and environmentalists-will seek to ensure emissions are cut by 55% over 1990 levels by 2030. The Fit for 55 package includes: the revision of the EU Emissions Trading System, a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, revision of the Energy Tax Directive, amendments to the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Directives to implement the ambition of the new 2030 climate target, as well as others on reduction of methane emissions from the power sector, emissions from land use and rules on passenger cars and alternative fuels.
European Steel Association EUROFER Director General Mr Axel Eggert said “EU institutions have agreed to more ambitious cuts to greenhouse emissions over a fairly short time frame. This package of new laws to be proposed by the Commission is intended to legislatively implement the political ambition. The European steel industry has long established plans to reduce emissions by 55% compared to 1990 levels, and has over a hundred highly-advanced low-carbon projects spread across Europe. However, the success of these projects its contingent on being able to direct the appropriate resources and find markets for the resulting ‘green’ steels, which will come at a higher cost than conventional steel. For Fit for 55 and the associated Green Deal to become successful growth strategies, they must provide three things: effective carbon leakage protection, affordable low-carbon energy, and firm support for the development and roll-out of breakthrough technologies”.
But environmentalists will denounce the laws as not going far enough, even as industry and some EU member states more dependent on coal-fired power push back against the effort. The ETS cap and trade system covers power generation, steel plants, cement, chemicals and commercial aviation-between them representing around 40% of European greenhouse emissions. Wednesday’s package would extend this with a parallel market for shipping, road transport and construction. To placate them, pollution quotas that are currently distributed freely to EU-based producers to help them compete with cheaper less-regulated imports would be phased out.