European Commission Unveils ‘Fit for 55’ Climate Package

Launch of proposals to support reducing Europe’s net emissions by at least 55% by 2030.

The European Commission has revealed details of its ‘Fit for 55’ package of proposals aimed at reaching the European Green Deal goal of cutting emissions by 55% by 2030 and making Europe the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

Fit for 55 consists of a set of interconnected proposals, which all drive towards the same goal of ensuring a fair, competitive and green transition by 2030 and beyond. Where possible existing legislation has been made more ambitious and where needed new proposals are introduced. Overall, the package strengthens eight existing pieces of legislation and presents five new initiatives, across a range policy areas and economic sectors: climate, energy and fuels, transport, buildings, land use and forestry.

Proposals include:

  • Revision of the EU Emission Trading System (ETS) to lower the overall emission cap even further and increase its annual rate of reduction
  • To complement the existing climate spending in the EU budget, Member States should spend the entirety of their emissions trading revenues on climate and energy-related projects
  • The Renewable Energy Directive will set an increased target to produce 40% of the EU’s energy from renewable sources by 2030
  • A revision of the Energy Taxation Directive to align the taxation of energy products with EU energy and climate policies, promoting clean technologies and removing outdated exemptions and reduced rates that currently encourage the use of fossil fuels
  • A new Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism to put a carbon price on imports of a targeted selection of products to ensure that ambitious climate action in Europe does not lead to ‘carbon leakage’
  • A new Social Climate Fund providing dedicated funding to Member States to support European citizens most affected or at risk of energy or mobility poverty

The Fit for 55 package is described as a key milestone on the road to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), to be held in Glasgow on 31 October-12 November 2021. It will also form the ‘backbone of the EU’s delivery on its commitments to the planet and the world’, as signed up to in the Paris Agreement.

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “The fossil fuel economy has reached its limits. We want to leave the next generation a healthy planet as well as good jobs and growth that does not hurt our nature. The European Green Deal is our growth strategy that is moving towards a decarbonised economy. Europe was the first continent to declare to be climate neutral in 2050, and now we are the very first ones to put a concrete roadmap on the table. Europe walks the talk on climate policies through innovation, investment and social compensation.”