EU unveils ambitious climate plan to meet carbon neutrality targets

Brussels, Jul 14 (EFE).- The European Commission on Wednesday announced its most ambitious plan yet to tackle the climate crisis, with policies fit to meet the EU’s target to reduce carbon emissions by 55% by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

“Our package aims to combine the reduction of emissions with measures to preserve nature and to put jobs and social balance at the heart of this transformation,” EC President Ursula von der Leyen told a news conference.

“We know that our current fossil fuel economy has reached its limits, and we know that we have to move on to a new model, one that is powered by innovation, that has clean energy, that is moving towards a circular economy.”

The Fit for 55 package unveiled Wednesday includes policies on energy, land use, transport and taxation to make the European Green Deal, presented by the Commission in December 2019, a reality.

“The principle is simple: emissions of CO2 must have a price. A price on CO2 that incentivizes consumers, producers and innovators to choose clean technologies,” Von der Leyen said.

The EU Emissions Trading System puts a price on carbon and has successfully brought down emissions from power generation and energy-intensive industries by 42.8% in the last 16 years.

“We will strengthen the existing system in these sectors and we will make emission trading systems applicable to aviation and extend it to the maritime,” the president said.

The package includes a proposal to lower the overall emissions cap and increase its annual rate of reduction.

It also aims to phase out free emission allowances for aviation while adding maritime transport to the bloc’s carbon market.

“We need this, because we just have to consider that one single cruise ship alone uses as much CO2 per day as 80,000 cars,” Von der Leyen said.

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