• July 14, 2021

EU and climate change: European Union launches ‘green deal’ to cut emissions by half in ten years

European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on March 24, 2021. (Yves Herman / Reuters)

The European Union unveiled on Wednesday an ambitious program to transform the region’s economy to combat climate change, eliminating dependence on fossil fuels, boosting the development and adoption of alternative energies, and imposing the world’s first import tax. proportional to the greenhouse gases emitted.

The proposal, headed by the European Commission, the executive branch of the EU, is targeting carbon emissions by demanding that businesses and households switch to sustainable technologies like wind turbines, solar power and electric vehicles. It seeks to curb pollution in all areas of European life, requiring car manufacturers to stop selling vehicles with combustion engines by 2035 and demanding that ships arriving in European ports run on clean fuel, among other provisions. However, the tThe various facets of the proposal will have to be negotiated by the 27 member countries of the body and the European Parliament before becoming law.

The commission’s plan, dubbed the EU Green Deal, is an attempt to fulfill the EU’s commitment under the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce carbon emissions by 55% by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions of greenhouse gases. greenhouse effect by 2050.

The purpose of the legislation import tax is to effectively decarbonize Europe’s supply chain, preventing polluting industries from shifting production out of Europe to evade the bloc’s emissions restrictions and then exporting back to the EU. While advocates believe it is crucial to put a price on carbon dioxide emissions, opponents worry that the tax could stifle international trade.

The United States withdrew from the Paris Accords under the Trump administration, citing unfair and drastic obligations and the agreement’s failure to hold the world’s worst polluters, such as China, accountable, but rejoined under the Biden administration, which has made mitigation of the climate and environmental crisis. activism’s top priorities.

The White House has emphasized the need for industrial sectors to embrace renewable energy, although the cost of such a transition has been less discussed. In April, President Biden announced the country’s goal of producing 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035 and cutting carbon emissions in half by 2020. However, a provision in Biden’s infrastructure bill that would establish a The national renewable energy standard was dropped during negotiations with the Republicans.

The EU initiative comes in anticipation of a climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, in November, where the United States and Europe intend to persuade China and less developed nations to make new commitments to reduce their emissions.

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