15 Jul 2021, 14:02
Julian Wettengel

Fit for 55 package “nothing less than a revolution;” “saturated with scepticism towards market-based approaches” – media reactions

taz / FAZ / Volksstimme

The European Commission’s legislative proposals to reach the new 2030 climate target have elicited mixed reactions from German media.

The farewell to the conventional combustion engine car is “no reason to panic” for the German car industry, writes Bernd Kramer in Badische Zeitung. “The industry has known for a long time that the future for petrol and diesel vehicles is bleak and that their death will come sooner or later,” writes Kramer. The industry had set its course accordingly. “So the EU climate targets will not kill off the carmakers, provided they remain resourceful and adaptable.”

The European Commission has delivered and presented “a regulatory monster,” writes Hendrik Kafsack in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “The Commission seriously believes it can plan climate protection and reorientation of the economy down to the last detail. Worse still: the package is saturated with scepticism towards market-based approaches.” He calls the plan for a new emissions trading system in the transport and building sectors “half-hearted at best.” Kafsack criticises the additional “inefficient” regulatory interventions, such as CO2 limits for cars.

The proposals are “nothing more and nothing less than a revolution,” writes Volksstimme. “The European Commission's proposals for achieving the climate targets are a huge restructuring programme not only of the European economy, but of almost all areas of life.” This transformation must be socially cushioned and Europe must remain competitive, writes the newspaper.

More questions than answers arise from the EU proposals, but at least these are now being openly discussed, writes Bernhard Pötter in tageszeitung (taz). Necessary climate policy decisions have been delayed for too long. “The European Commission is now slapping a package on the table, the details of which will leave the whole of Europe at loggerheads over the next few years. But this dispute is necessary and overdue,” writes Pötter. He adds that the German government has been especially good at keeping the debate low-key. “Brussels thinks big. Berlin shirks away.” Germany’s next government after the September election would have to implement new, higher targets.

The European Commission on 14 July presented its package of legislative proposals to reach the new target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030 – its Fit for 55 package. It includes a new emissions trading system for transport and buildings, a sales ban on polluting cars from 2035, more ambitious renewables expansion plans, and a carbon border price on imported goods. The unveiling kicks off what could be several years of difficult negotiations among member states and the European Parliament before the final reforms are adopted.

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