Clock is ticking, will Europe be “Fit for 55” by 2030?

As the EU is stepping into its new MFF term, the 2030 deadline is getting closer. With this in mind, the European Commission recently (mid-July) presented a myriad of new measures along with law revisions gathered under its newest Fit for 55 package. The initiative is expected to provide the EU with tools to meet the Green Deal’s objectives, comply with the European Climate Law and keep its Paris Agreement commitments.

The scheme’s “55” stands for the EU’s 55% reduction target for greenhouse gas emission to be met by 2030, which had been communicated to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2020 under Germany’s presidency.

The Fit for 55 Package will constitute a main priority on the Slovenian presidency agenda which will strive to foster flexibility for all EU countries to reach the initiative’s goals while meeting its deadlines.

Continuing its efforts on emission reduction since it was launched in 2005, the EU Emission Trading System is to be revised together with the Effort Sharing Regulation with lower carbon emission limits and higher annual reduction targets. The two policies will continue working hand in hand putting a price on the carbon tonne and respectively covering 40% (power sector, manufacturing industry) and 60% (transport, agriculture) of the total current greenhouse gases emissions.

Revisions on the strongly related Renewable Energy Directive and Energy Efficiency Directive are setting a 40% target for sustainably produced energy by 2030. Combined, the two legislations are expected to increase clean energy production while reducing our overall energy consumption (green or not).

Adjustments on the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive will back this effort with the implementation of more convenient refuelling and recharging devices for clean transports (e.g. hydrogen trucks) and electric cars. The Directive will be complemented by two newly introduced initiatives: ReFuelEU Aviation and FuelEU Maritime which will strive to boost the use of sustainable fuel alternatives and zero emissions technology in both transport sectors. Both programmes introduce gradually increasing percentages of green fuels within blending mandates (up to 60% of Sustainable Aviation Fuels-SAF by 2050) and incentives towards various cleaner alternatives.

Lastly, a new Social Climate Fund will support EU citizens with green transition-related costs. The expected €72.2 billion budget for the 2025-2032 period will endeavour to align the green transition process with NextGenEU and Resilience and Recovery Facility objectives.

A scheme that doesn’t fit all

Another main measure among the brand new ones is the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism which is to be implemented by 2023 and is meant to protect European firms from environmental dumping while preventing “carbon leakage”.

Further discussions on the upcoming COP26 in November are expected to clarify the situation.

Read more on the various Fit for 55 measures here.

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