European Union unveils sweeping climate change plan

  • The European Union has announced a draft of climate change legislation aimed at pushing it towards its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
  • A dozen draft proposals, which still need to be approved by the bloc’s 27 member states and the EU Parliament, were announced recently. They include plans to tax jet fuel and effectively ban the sale of petrol and diesel powered cars within 20 years. The proposals, however, are likely to face months of negotiations.
  • The measures, billed as the EU’s most ambitious plan yet to tackle climate change, have been named the Fit for 55 package because it would put the bloc on track to meet its 2030 goal of reducing emissions by 55 per cent from 1990 levels.
  • By 2019, the EU had cut its emissions by 24 per cent from 1990 levels. In September, the EU Commission set out its blueprint for reaching the 55 per cent reduction by 2030 and said at least 30 per cent of the EU’s 1.8 trillion euros in long-term budget would be spent on climate-related measures.
  • The targets are part of a global effort to tackle climate change by cutting atmospheric pollution, especially carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
  • The Paris climate deal, signed in 2016, aims to keep global temperature rise well under 2C and preferably within a maximum rise of 1.5C to prevent the worst effects of climate change.