European Union negotiators reached an agreement early on Sunday to overhaul the bloc’s carbon market, the bloc’s main policy tool for fighting global warming, the Czech EU presidency and the European Council said. “The agreement… will allow us to meet the climate goals in the main sectors of the economy and at the same time ensure that the most vulnerable citizens and micro-enterprises will be effectively supported in the transition to climate change,” Czech Environment Minister Marian Jurečka said in a statement.
At stake was the EU’s ability to contribute to global efforts to combat climate change and meet its goal of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. Meeting this target will require reforming the EU’s carbon market to reduce emissions faster, which is being done by requiring around 10,000 power plants and factories to buy CO2 allowances when they pollute.
Negotiators were at odds over how quickly to end the free CO2 allowances the EU gives to industries to protect them from foreign competition. These permits will be scrapped as the EU gradually introduces a carbon border tariff to prevent domestic firms from being undercut by foreign competitors. After 30 hours of talks that began on Friday, negotiators agreed to raise the overall target to reduce emissions in sectors covered by the European Emissions Trading System to 62% by 2030, the European Council, which brings together the bloc’s member states, said in a statement. .
The negotiators also decided to revise the “total emissions cap for two years to 90 and 27 million allowances, respectively, and to increase the annual rate of reduction of the cap by 4.3% per year from 2024 to 2027 and by 4.4% from 2028 to 2030, ” the statement added. According to the statement, a Social Climate Fund is to be established to support vulnerable households, micro-enterprises and transport users in coping with the price impacts of the ETS for buildings, road transport and fuels for other sectors.
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