EU sets climate example, balancing jobs and emissions cuts




25 Apr 2019


Brussels, Belgium



Edited Package
Chris: The dire warnings about global warming, and increasing evidence that those warnings are true, have moved many leaders to press for more-decisive action to fight climate change. Among them, EPP Group MEPs involved in writing and driving legislation through the European Parliament so that Europe meets its commitments to cut emissions and shows leadership on the issue.One important action is reforming the Emissions Trading System or ETS, which allow the buying and selling of CO2 emissions, setting a market price on CO2 and encouraging companies to cut back. Ivo Belet co-wrote the legislation and is the EPP Group´s spokesperson on the issue.

Ivo Belet, Belgian MEP :
That’s the main objective. Those are the fundamentals of the emission trading system, that you use offer and demand on the market in order to tackle climate change.

The aim is to rein in the emissions of over 12,000 industrial plants and energy suppliers in the EU, ensuring a total reduction of 40% of CO2 emissions by 2030.

You have the emissions trading system which tackles emissions from industry, which tackles emissions from all energy sectors in Europe on the basis of offer and demand so by means of market instruments. We also have to tackle the renewable strategy, we have to tackle also energy efficiency

With an international carbon market, ETS is also aimed at protecting industries from unfair international competition and avoiding so-called carbon leakage,” or businesses locating operations outside the EU to avoid regulation.
Peter Liese is the EPP Group´s spokesperson on the Environment Committee.

Peter Liese, German MEP:
We are a leader in climate change, but we can only lead by example, if we show the world that it is possible to keep the jobs, even create more jobs to innovate, and not to have a climate policy that is good for the climate but not good for the people and the jobs.

Looking beyond 2020, MEPs have pressed to involve other sectors in the fight to cut greenhouse gases, including transport, buildings and agriculture. That´s part of the EU objective to cut emissions overall by up to 95% by 2050.Also part of that is so-called Effort Sharing - binding emissions reductions for each Member State, with some flexibility. Wealthier ones have agreed to sharper cuts.

The ETS is only one instrument of the European Union. It covers almost half of the emissions, but the other 50% are outside the ETS, and there it’s important to have targets for the Member States. …They have to give incentives to insulate the buildings. We have to do something in agriculture and in transport.

Land use and forestry are other key factors in limiting greenhouse gases to fight climate change. The European Parliament, with EPP Group leadership in negotiating it, called for a comprehensive effort of all sectors to stop deforestation by encouraging sustainable forest management. Belet says it’s all part of the big picture strategy.

Those combined efforts are indeed the fundamentals of the European strategy to tackle climate change … we want to implement the engagement of Paris, and want to be at the forefront of tackling that climate change issue.
The EPP Group is the only group that balances jobs and growth, and climate. …A good example is leading by example, using modern technologies and keep the jobs and the growth while reducing the emissions.
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  • Laura Barrios
    EPP TV Assistant Producer