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10 Mar 2022, 13:22
Sören Amelang

EU climate plans must become 'Apollo programme for energy sovereignty' – NGOs

The European Parliament and the EU member states must insist on improvements to the European Commission's insufficient plans for emission reduction to rapidly make the bloc more independent from fossil fuels, an alliance of German environmental associations has said. "We are counting on the German government to make the 'Fit for 55' package the European Apollo programme for energy sovereignty," said Kai Niebert of the environmental umbrella organisation DNR. He added that the expansion of renewable energies, the transformation of industry, the transport transition and building refurbishments were all key to achieving more independence and climate resilience.

The alliance, which also includes Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND), WWF and Germanwatch, calls for more ambitious targets for the rollout of renewables coupled with binding national targets. The associations also demand a cancellation of CO2 certificates in emissions trading as a climate emergency measure, and a rapid end to free industry allocations, while using the extra revenues for a socially just transformation towards carbon neutrality. The NGOs express great scepticism over the Commission proposal for an emission trading system for transport and buildings, arguing it will be decisive to make the scheme more just and effective for climate protection. The paper also calls for ending the sale of combustion engine cars by 2030 using the EU's fleet emission targets.

The European Commission published its ‘Fit for 55’ proposals last year in two parts. The package contains legislative drafts to overhaul the EU’s energy and climate policy in line with plans for its EU Green Deal sustainable growth policy programme. The proposals are now discussed by member state governments and the European Parliament.

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