European Commission must deliver an ambitious Fit for 2030 package

by Renew Europe Group

Today, the European Commission presents its Fit for 2030 climate package, with the aim of aligning climate and energy policies with the EU´s new climate target, as laid down in the European Climate Law. To recall, the Climate Law defines a minimum level of direct emission reductions which, combined with a robust target for emissions removals, will bring the 2030 target to 57 percent greenhouse gas reductions compared to 1990. At the same time, the proposals will also have to be “Fit for 2050”: for Renew Europe, the upcoming legislative package is an unmissable opportunity to turn the transition to climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest into a European success story.

As a driving force in the European Parliament for raised climate ambition in line with the Paris Agreement, we will always work tirelessly to ensure that the Green Deal is at the heart of Europe’s strategy for new sustainable growth and jobs, and a catalyst for a transition with climate neutrality and the well-being of our citizens as key objectives.

Therefore, while the climate package was still under preparation earlier this summer, we sent a letter to President Ursula von der Leyen and Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans, highlighting five specific priorities, with a call for the Commission to integrate them in the upcoming proposals in order to ensure a balanced and successful package delivering on our climate objectives while ensuring a just transition. Tomorrow, we expect to see a coherent set of proposals that takes existing climate and energy legislation to a new level while ensuring synergies with other EU policies.

Among our priorities is a strengthened Emissions Trading System coupled with a WTO-compatible carbon border adjustment mechanism. The new carbon border adjustment mechanism should go hand in hand with the phase-out of free allocation in the ETS, and it must cover a comprehensive range of sectors in order to be able to promote a global market for low-carbon products where European companies can be the leaders.

Additionally, we know that in order for Europe to be climate neutral by 2050, virtually all cars on Europe ́s roads must be zero-emission by mid-century, and we need to set emission standards that bring us there In order to encourage the transition to zero-emission mobility, it is of outmost importance that ambitious CO2 standards for new cars are established, accompanied by the infrastructure needed to achieve this target.

Furthermore, we are staunch believers that renewable energy must be given a boost through an ambitious target of at least 40% of energy from renewables in 2030, with the aim of reaching a target of at least 45% in a sustainable way, accompanied by a supporting market framework and a focus on research and innovation.

While bringing down fossil fuel emissions rapidly is paramount, we also need to strengthen CO2 removals and enhance the natural carbon sink to achieve climate neutrality. Therefore, we find it imperative to introduce an EU framework to reward carbon removal and biodiversity restoration, which promotes carbon farming as an additional income for farmers.

Finally, we must ensure that the Fit for 2030 package brings citizens, as well as businesses into this transition in a balanced and just way. This is best done by accompanying new proposals having direct social impacts with a package of measures to counterbalance these effects, starting with a just transition fund for the automotive sector in support of the zero-emissions mobility objective, focusing on small and medium sized suppliers.

It is beyond any doubt that the stakes are high. Tomorrow’s presentation of the Fit for 2030 climate package will mark a milestone for our fight against climate change, and for the future of our citizens and of our European project. This is legislation whose impact will be felt by future generations, for centuries to come. When entering into the subsequent negotiations on the various legislative files, Renew Europe stands ready to show leadership and make a real difference for our European citizens, and for the planet. We hope that the European Commission follows suit.