The Twenty-Seven agreed on Wednesday to increase the share of renewable energies in their energy mix from 22% today to 40% in 2030 and to accelerate their efforts to save energy.
After the European Parliament, the Member States decided on their position on a series of texts intended to enable the European Union (EU) to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 ( compared to 1990) and thus comply with the Paris climate agreement. After weeks of negotiations, the Twenty-Seven finally reached an agreement, in the early morning of Wednesday June 29, on this legislative package presented by the Commission on July 14, 2021. It is a “historic agreement”, welcomed by the French Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Reacher.
As in the European legislative assembly, the discussions were difficult, as the subjects are politically, economically, and socially at high risk. Among other things: the various texts lay down requirements in terms of the development of renewables; they define, country by country, the energy savings to be made by the different sectors; they provide for the extinction of the heat engine; they reform the carbon market (known as ETS, for “Emissions Trading System”), on which the most polluting industrialists exchange rights to pollute, and extend it in particular to housing and private transport; they introduce a carbon tax at the borders…
Each capital has defended its interests and tried to obtain certain arrangements in order to protect its industry here and the purchasing power of its citizens there.
The rise of the carbon market, currently reserved for a few highly polluting sectors (chemicals, electricity production, paper industry, iron and steel, cement, steel, etc.) and which covers 40% of the greenhouse gas emissions of Europeans, has been the subject, among other things, of tough negotiations.
Consequently, its extension to maritime and air transport suffers from several exceptions. Cyprus has benefited from last-minute relaxations for boats serving islands with fewer than 200,000 inhabitants. Finland, for its part, obtained preferential treatment for icebreakers. As for Italy, it welcomed the fact that flights to and from small airports are granted a derogatory regime.
The EU-27 has also programmed the extinction, between 2026 and 2035, of the free CO 2 quotas that manufacturers receive each year so as not to be disadvantaged compared to imports from third countries without a carbon market. Their gradual disappearance will be accompanied by the establishment of a carbon tax at the borders of the EU intended to protect the manufacturers concerned from the unfair extra-EU competition.