The Brussels bubble has been talking about it for months, but what is about to be presented by the European Commission will have repercussions for national governments and the entire EU population: the “Fit for 55 package” – a proposal to essentially overhaul the bloc’s entire climate and energy legislation as the next step towards climate neutrality.
Just days before the Commission will unload its hundreds of pages of legislative proposals onto newsroom desks across the continent, Clean Energy Wire invites policymakers, analysts and business representatives to share their views on questions such as:
Why a complete overhaul of energy and climate legislation?
What are key pieces of the package?
Which aspects should journalists focus on?
How to deal with the hundreds of pages?
Where are we likely to see the fiercest battle among member states and why?
What do industry and NGOs demand?
Which aspects of the package influence the EU’s international relations?
What are the next steps in the legislative process? When will things be decided?
The Fit for 55 package is a key component of the bloc’s green growth strategy – the European Green Deal – and the necessary foundation for the EU to reach its newly decided more ambitious 2030 climate target. “By next summer, we will revise all of our climate and energy legislation to make it ‘fit for 55’,” said Commission president Ursula von der Leyen during her state of the union speech in September 2020. “We will enhance emission trading, boost renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, reform energy taxation.”
The year 2021 is crucial for global climate action, ringing in what U.S. climate envoy John Kerry has called the decisive “decade of action” – and the EU aims to prove it is on track to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050. Major economies including China, the U.S., the UK and Japan have announced more ambitious climate targets, but combined plans still fall short of what is needed. The summit meetings of the world’s largest economies and top emitters – the G7 in in June and the G20 in October – pave the way for the COP26 UN climate change conference in Glasgow in November.
COP26 is the first climate conference since governments were expected to submit more ambitious climate action plans for 2030 known as the nationally determined contributions (NDCs). The pledges are the first test of the so-called “ratchet mechanism”, a cornerstone of the Paris Agreement designed to increase climate ambition over time. As the key component of its updated NDC, the EU has decided to increase its 2030 greenhouse reduction target to “at least 55 percent”.
However, setting a target is one thing, reaching it another. With the Fit for 55 package, the Commission makes the reform proposals it deems necessary for the bloc to reach the new target. The elements will be:
- Revision of the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS), including revision of the EU ETS Directive concerning aviation, maritime and CORSIA
- Revision of the Regulation on the inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF)
- Effort Sharing Regulation
- Amendment to the Renewable Energy Directive to implement the ambition of the new 2030 climate target
- Amendment of the Energy Efficiency Directive to implement the ambition of the new 2030 climate target
- ReFuelEU Aviation - sustainable aviation fuels
- FuelEU Maritime – green European maritime space
- Revision of the Directive on deployment of the alternative fuels infrastructure
- Amendment of the Regulation setting CO2 emission standards for cars and vans
- Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism
- Revision of the Energy Tax Directive
|16.00 - 16.05||
Welcome and introduction
by Julian Wettengel, Clean Energy Wire
|16.05 - 16.20||
Fit for 55 - What to expect
by Manon Dufour, E3G
|16.20 - 16.30||
by Jytte Guteland, MEP
|16.30 - 16.40||
by Cédric de Meeûs, LafargeHolcim
|16.40 - 17.25||Discussion and Q&A|
|17.25 - 17.30||
Conclusions and outlook
Manon Dufour is Head of Brussels Office, E3G, and an expert in European climate policy and politics. Manon works with European policy-makers, civil society and businesses to establish the necessary policies and alliances to reach climate neutrality. She has shaped energy, competition and industry policy to drive decarbonisation. Her current work focuses particularly on the European Green Deal.
Jytte Guteland is a Swedish Social Democrat and Member of the European Parliament since 2014. She is the S&D coordinator in the ENVI committee and was the rapporteur for the European Climate Law and has also previously worked on the EU ETS revision. Jytte used to be the President of the Swedish Social Democratic Youth League.
Cédric de Meeûs is vice-president of Group Public Affairs & Government Relations at LafargeHolcim. Cédric is an Environmental Engineer with over 20 years of experience in senior positions in the environmental management, infrastructure, waste and construction materials industries. Cédric is a recognized expert on the net zero agenda, the transition towards circular models, industrial transition, and the transition towards sustainable construction ecosystems. He is responsible for LafargeHolcim’s Public Affairs and Government Relations function. In parallel, Cedric currently chairs Construction Products Europe, and sits on the Steering Committees of the World Bank’s Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition and the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction.
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