The European Commission announced on Monday (9 October) that it has adopted two final pillars of its “Fit for 55” legislative package.
With the adoption today of the revised Renewable Energy Directive and the ReFuelEU Aviation Regulation, the EU now has legally binding climate targets covering “all key sectors of the economy,” the EU Commission said in a press release.
“The European Green Deal is delivering the change we need to reduce CO² emissions. It does so while keeping the interests of our citizens in mind and providing opportunities for our European industry. The legislation to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030 is now in place and I am very happy that we are even on track to overshoot this ambition. This is an important sign to Europe and to our global partners that the green transition is possible, that Europe is delivering on its promises,” said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.
The overall package includes emissions reduction targets across a broad range of sectors, a target to boost natural carbon sinks and an updated emissions trading system to cap emissions, put a price on pollution and generate investments in the green transition and social support for citizens and small businesses.
To ensure a level playing field for European companies, the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism ensures that imported goods pay an equivalent carbon price in targeted sectors. The EU now has updated targets on renewable energy and energy efficiency and will phase out new polluting vehicles by 2035, while boosting charging infrastructure and the use of alternative fuels in road transport, shipping and aviation.
The “Fit for 55” package was announced in July 2021 responding to the requirements in the EU Climate Law to reduce Europe’s net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030. It was updated when the Commission proposed increased ambition on renewable energy and energy efficiency in the REPowerEU plan proposed in May 2022.
The final legislative package is expected to reduce EU net greenhouse gas emissions by 57 per cent by 2030, the EU Commission said in the press release. While this legislative package is considered a “central part” of the European Green Deal, legislative work continues on other pending legislative files and proposals, and on the implementation of legislation in the member states.
The Energy Taxation Directive, an integral part of the “Fit for 55” package, remains to be completed, with the EU Commission urging member states to conclude negotiations “as soon as possible.”