14 Jul The EU Commission’s new climate package: Sporty, but not yet fit enough!
Brussels, 14 July 2021 – “Fit for 1.5”, “Fit for 2030” or “Fit for 55” – the new “Climate Action Plan 2030” of the European Commission already had many names. But much more important than the name is the content of the legislative package presented, which aims to achieve a 55 percent reduction in climate-damaging emissions by 2030. But right up front: this will not limit global warming to 1.5°.
“There is great potential in the new laws to still be able to avert the climate catastrophe as far as possible. Unfortunately, the Commission has not yet sufficiently exploited this potential. Now it is up to the MEPs to breathe the necessary ambition into the package,” was Manuela Ripa’s first conclusion.
Already in October 2019, the European Parliament declared a climate emergency, but the EU climate law adopted last June does not even meet the minimum standards of the Paris Climate Agreement. (Manuela Ripa voted against this law).
The ÖDP MEP was already shadow rapporteur in the Trade Committee for the opinion on the CO2 border adjustment mechanism and advocates for the energy transition and a sustainable circular economy in her dossiers: “I very much welcome the fact that the circular economy is a cross-cutting issue throughout the package, but we need to be more explicit! Only if we look at production, supply and recycling chains from start to finish can we achieve the climate and sustainability goals,” said Manuela Ripa.
“The linear economic model has had its day. We need a circular system. Therefore, the EU must become a leader in reuse, remanufacturing and then recycling,” Manuela Ripa summarises her goal.
In total, the package includes 12 legislative proposals, the concrete contents of which must now be agreed upon by the European Parliament and the Member States together with the Commission.
The current “Fit for 55” climate package provides in particular for a revision of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and the national climate targets in the areas of agriculture, transport, the building industry as well as waste via the so-called burden sharing system. In future, there are to be fewer CO2 certificates and the free allocation of emission certificates is to be significantly reduced. At the same time, large-scale European industry is to be protected from carbon-intensive and thus cheaper production from abroad by means of special CO2 border adjustment mechanisms (CBAM).
Comprehensive revisions of the Energy Efficiency Directive and the Renewable Energy Directive, new CO2 standards for cars, the promotion of alternative fuels as well as a revised Energy Tax Directive are intended to fight CO2 emissions.
An absolutely necessary increase in fossil fuel prices is thus pre-programmed and will have considerable social impacts, especially on poorer member states. The necessary compensation is to be provided by a Climate Action Social Facility, financed by 20% of the additional revenues expected from the inclusion of buildings and road transport in the scope of the EU Emissions Trading Directive.
“The success of this package will depend primarily on the extent to which a ordinary consumer actually gets access to the Climate Action Social Fund to help meet the substantial additional costs of retrofitting buildings and vehicles. This will depend on clever cooperation between the funding and house banks. We will adapt this accordingly in the European Parliament,” Manuela Ripa concluded.
In the Industry Committee, the MEP is currently shadow rapporteur for the opinion on batteries and battery recycling, and in the Environment Committee she is responsible for better recycling management for electronic equipment, which should also include a right to repair.
In the future, Manuela Ripa will increasingly deal with dossiers on consumer protection and the circular economy and, among other things, take over three reports explicitly dealing with these points after the Parliament’s summer break. The first report is to set new requirements for technical devices and strengthen consumer rights when buying electronic devices. The second aims to establish uniform chargers for mobile phones and comparable devices. The third dossier aims to support the role of consumers in the green transition.
Currently, Manuela Ripa is also working on the European Strategy on Critical Raw Materials in the Trade Committee and will be shadow rapporteur on circular electronics and waste management in the Environment Committee from autumn.