Ten EU countries urge not to scale back ambitions of climate legislation

Ten EU countries urge not to scale back ambitions of climate legislation

Climate ministers from ten EU countries have called on their counterparts and the European Parliament not to lower the ambition of new climate legislation and to ensure that the package of proposals as a whole aims reduce net carbon emissions by at least 55% by 2030.

“We are increasingly concerned by the various calls to lower ambition in all areas of the package, and by the direction of the negotiations in this respect, both in the Council and in the European Parliament, as well as by the concessions made in the search for compromise”indicates the joint statement.

Signed by the Climate Ministers of Austria, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden and Slovenia, the declaration stresses the urgency for the French Presidency of the Council of the EU (PFUE) to reach an agreement between EU countries, but insists that the main priority should be to “quickly implement the EU’s 2030 climate target”.

“The ‘Fit for 55’ package is not only essential to fulfilling our commitment to future generations, but it also helps to accelerate the transition to an independent, sustainable, reliable and affordable European energy supply”, said Dutch Climate and Energy Minister Rob Jetten, who was among the signatories.

“We therefore call on all Member States to do their utmost to reach an agreement on the ‘Fit for 55’ package before the summer”he added.

These ministers, who represent more than a third of the 27 EU countries, point out that all EU countries as well as the European Parliament have signed up to the legally binding emissions reduction target, which must now be backed by legislation.

“An ambitious agreement is essential to free the European Union from Russian fossil fuels and is the only way to tackle the climate crisis and guarantee an independent, clean, reliable and cheap European energy supply for the world. ‘coming “the ministers wrote.

Their statement comes ahead of two meetings of EU energy and environment ministers to be held in Luxembourg at the end of June where they will try to advance, and possibly finalise, parts of the package. Fit for 55″.

Following the failure of the carbon market vote

This decision also follows the failure of the European Parliament to reach an agreement on the reform of the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS). A problem that parliamentary lawmakers hope to resolve next week.

There are concerns that concessions made on individual pieces of legislation in an attempt to reach an agreement could result in the overall ambition of the legislative package falling short and the EU failing to achieve its 2030 climate target.

“The lowest common denominator seems to determine the Council’s approach and this is not a good sign for the climate or energy independence”a European diplomat told EURACTIV.

This concern extends to many, if not all, issues, including the emissions trading system, land and forest use regulations and transport legislation.

“Taken separately, these changes may seem justified or have a limited impact, but adding them all up, we risk missing our target by 2030 and setting ourselves on an irreversible trajectory thereafter, which will have [un] harmful impact on the climate”warned the ministers.

In their statement, they urged decision-makers in the European Parliament, governments of EU member countries, as well as the European Commission to “not to let the sense of urgency or the current situation overshadow our climate commitments”.

The ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package was presented in July to enable the EU to meet its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Since it was proposed, energy prices have skyrocketed and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to sweeping changes in the political landscape. The ministers call for this situation not to lead to a questioning of European climate objectives.

“Let’s get it right this time and fight the temptation to let short-term motivations get in the way of making the right long-term decisions. In the interests of climate protection, a beneficial transition for our citizens and businesses and energy security”they concluded.



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