Uprising, Ursula von der Leyen, in the middle

Many European Commissioners oppose the controversial pollution reduction plan announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, a project that, if approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, could severely affect the car, aviation and shipping industries.

At the heart of the plan is the expansion of the Emissions Trading System (ETS), an idea backed by two German politicians, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.

Ursula von der Leyen believes that pollutant emissions must be reduced by 55% by 2030 and proposes severe measures to make the European Union climate-neutral by 2050. The European Commission on Wednesday proposed tightening the EU’s emissions trading system, drastically reducing carbon dioxide emissions on farms and using renewable energy. In addition, the European Commission wants all cars and commercial vehicles produced and registered after 2035 to generate zero emissions, ie to have electric motors. The trucks do not appear to be precisely targeted by the European Commission’s ambitious plan yet. The European Commission also wants to reduce pollution from aircraft and ships. To enter into force, the ambitions of the European Commission will have to receive the approval of the European Parliament and the EU Council.

The plan generated strong disputes and divided the European Commission. Many members of the European Commission do not agree with these strict measures, and the situation has almost generated a revolt, say sources quoted by the website Politico.eu.

Proposals for changes in the automotive, aviation and shipping industries, as well as in agriculture and the food sector are challenged by Germany, France, Spain and Italy, who argue that the social impact of the new measures risks generating widespread protests such as those organized in recent years. years in France by the “Yellow Vest” Movement, which denounced the increase in transport tariffs and the erosion of living standards.

“This is a toxic proposal,” said MEP Pascal Canfin, a member of the Innoim Europe group and chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, quoted by the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

The European Commission’s draft law risks undergoing significant changes in order to be approved in the European Parliament and the EU Council.

The initial news

The European Union on Wednesday proposed a ban on the sale of new cars with petrol and diesel engines. The measure would enter into force in 2035, within an extended climate program, which also aims to transition to zero-emission electric vehicles, writes Reuters.

The EU executive wants the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced by cars to be reduced by 55% by 2030. The European Commission is reporting on the levels recorded in 1990. In 2021, they were significantly higher than the ideal threshold proposed for this period. At present, the level of CO2 emissions is expected to be 37.5% lower.

The European Commission has also proposed a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2035, which would make it impossible to sell new fossil fuel vehicles in the 27 EU member states.

“This is the kind of initiative we have been waiting for from the EU and which has been lacking in recent years,” said Helen Clarkson, executive director of Climate Group, a non-profit organization working with European authorities to combat climate change.

“Science tells us we need to halve emissions by 2030, so for road transport it’s simple – get rid of the internal combustion engine.”

To increase sales of electric vehicles, Brussels officials have also proposed legislation that would require member states to install public charging stations along main roads by a maximum distance of 60 kilometers by 2025.

The ban on new cars with internal combustion engines does not exclusively affect this economic sector. The overall picture is much broader and affects other forms of transport, such as air, or the metallurgical industry and energy producers.

The New York Times writes that the EU target is more aggressive than announced by the United States, which has pledged to reduce emissions by 40-43% over the same period, but less ambitious than the UK, which promises a difference of 68%.

Most automakers have announced they will focus on electric cars, but many have opposed setting a clear “expiration” date for fossil fuel vehicles that still generate the most profits. The European Commission’s plan would require them to do so by 2035.

Airlines would be forced to start mixing synthetic fuel with the currently used fossil fuel, and steelmakers would have to pay higher amounts for CO2 emissions.

Electricity producers will be determined to accelerate the transition to wind, solar or hydropower and to abandon traditional coal.

Shipping companies could no longer dock in European ports if they did not switch to more environmentally friendly fuels.

The EU plan could face resistance from important trading partners such as the United States and China, as the new measures would affect imports from countries considered to have lower environmental standards.


Source: Cotidianul RO by www.cotidianul.ro.

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