EU mulls drastic measures to curb carbon emissions

Photo: EPA

European Commission is expected to propose the implementation of new dramatic measures by the Member States in a move to enforce faster shift to greener economy. The expected EC move is earmarked for 14 July, Reuters reported. The EC has already secured the key support of EU biggest economy - Germany. The draft EC proposal includes at least a dozen new measures aimed at reducing the greenhouse emissions. A key point is scrapping up the free carbon permits of airlines.

That move is expected to affect seriously the air transport sector. The EC has already set a goal to cut net emissions 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels.

The package will include reforms to the EU carbon market and a border levy to impose CO2 costs on imported goods. All the policies will need approval from EU governments and the European Parliament. In a document detailing its position on the package, Germany backed the Commission's plan to impose CO2 prices on transport and heating in buildings through a separate system to the EU's existing carbon market. "The long term goal should be to have a uniform cross-sector carbon price in the EU," the draft document said.

Berlin this year imposed a national CO2 levy on suppliers of heating and transport fuels, set at an initial 25 euros per tonne. However, the plan to take the system EU-wide is facing pushback from some EU governments and lawmakers, who argue it could hike household fuel bills.

Extra measures will be needed to ensure governments have enough resources to address the policy's social impact - particularly on low-income households and for people who rent their homes, Germany said. Berlin said upcoming reforms to the EU's existing carbon market should prolong free carbon permits "to an appropriate extent", but end them soon for aviation, the document showed. The carbon market forces factories, power plants and airlines to buy permits when they pollute in the EU. Industry and airlines get some for free, shielding them from carbon prices that have soared to record highs this year.

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