Jul 14, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Europe gets specific on climate plans

Illustration of a plant potter with the EU flag on it.

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

European Union officials Thursday unveiled sweeping and detailed legislative proposals meant to breathe life into the bloc's goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2030.

Driving the news: The wide-ranging documents aim to strengthen policies around vehicle emissions, renewable power, emissions trading markets, land use, efficiency, and much more. You can find them here.

Why it matters: While the world's biggest emitters all have gauzy long-term targets, the European plan is aimed at crafting granular, on-the-ground rules designed to meet the top-line aspirations.

Yes, but: Today's unveiling means lots of difficult wrangling ahead among the bloc's powers. Reuters notes that the "Fit for 55" proposals "will face months of negotiations between the 27 EU countries and the European Parliament."

The intrigue: Part of the plan is new import taxes on goods from nations that lack strong climate policies.

  • "That move has sparked fears that protectionism will derail hopes for a new era of international climate change cooperation ushered in by Biden's presidency," Politico reports.
  • President Biden's campaign platform vowed "fees or quotas on carbon-intensive goods from countries that are failing to meet their climate...obligations." But the future of that effort is unclear.
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