Report of the activity of the European Parliament regarding Climate and Environment – April/May 2022

Report of the activity of the European Parliament regarding Climate and Environment – April/May 2022

Reducing CO2 emissions is one of the main targets at the European level to mitigate climate change. In september 2020, the European Commission (EC)’s communication proposed to step up Europe’s 2030 ambition and proposed to raise up the EU’s ambition to at least 55% net greenhouse emissions (GHG) reductions compared to 1990. The “Fit for 55’ package” of July 2021 aimed at answering the EU’s goal. In this logic, several amendments are being voted and adopted.

The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament voted several amendments to tackle this problem.

Indeed, MEPs voted for the amendment of the Regulation (EU) 2018/842 on binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions by Member States from 2021 to 2030.

VotesIn favouragainstabsention
MEPs61206
GroupsNI, PPE, Renew, S&D, Verts/ALEECR, ID, NI, PPEThe Left

Moreover, several transport sectors have been specifically targeted.

Maritime transport is an essential component of Europe’s transport system and for its economy it contributes to around 75% of EU external trade volumes and 31% of EU internal trade volumes[1]. Hence, to respect the cut of GHG for 2030, this sector requires to use less energy and cleaner types of energy such as renewable and low-carbon fuels, especially since nowadays, maritime transport relies almost exclusively on fossil fuels.

MEPs adopted an amendment on the use of renewable and low-carbon fuels in maritime transport[2].

VotesIn favouragainstabsention
MEPs482414
GroupsNI, PPE, Renew, S&D, The Left, Verts/ALEECR, ID, PPENI, PPE

Then, MEPs from the ENVI voted for the strengthening of the CO2 emission performance standards for new passenger cars and new light commercial vehicles in line with the Union’s increased climate ambition[3]

VotesIn favourAgainstAbstention
MEPs46402
GroupsNI, Renew, S&D, The Left, Verts/ALEECR, ID, NI, PPE, RenewNI, PPE

Average CO2 emissions from new cars was 122,3g CO2/km in 2019, better than 130g CO2/km for the EU target for the period 2015-2019, but above the target of 95g/km set for 2021 onwards. 

The EC proposed to amend ETS Directive 2003/87/EC and to include aviation CO2 emissions, both extra EEA and intra-EEA flights. Indeed, aviation accounts for 3,7% of the EU’s economy-wide CO2 emissions. But, extra EEA have derogations from the EU ETS. There was the expectation that a global market-based mechanism for aviation emissions would appear.  

MEPs voted in favour of an amendment of Directive 2003/87/EC about aviation’s contribution to the Union’s economy-wide emission reduction target and the appropriate implementation of a global market-based measure of its impact.

VotesIn favourAgainstAbstention
MEPs66912
GroupsNI, PPE, Renew, S&D, The Left, Verts/ALEECR, IDID, NI, PPE, Renew

As the contribution of -43% of the EU ETS compared to its level of 2005 is not enough to respect the at least -55% overall cut of GHG from the 1990 levels, the ETS reductions have to represent -61% compared to 2005.

Hence, MEPs voted in favour of the amendment of Directive 2003/87/EC establishing a system for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Union.

VotesIn favourAgainstAbstention
MEPs62205
GroupsPPE, Renew, S&D, The Left, Verts/ALEECR, ID, NI, PPE, S&DNI, PPE

Initially launched in 2013 to facilitate investments in cross-border energy infrastructure, the European Council adopted on May 16th a revised Trans-European Network for Energy (TEN-E) Regulation.  The idea is to align it to the EU’s 2030 emissions reduction target and the 2050 climate neutrality goal. The infrastructure categories eligible for financial support are being updated and no more support for new natural gas and oil projects will be funded. The focus is made on electricity, offshore girds and hydrogen and electrolysers.

VotesIn favourAgainstAbstention
MEPs49335
GroupsPPE, Renew, S&D, The Left, Verts/ALEECR, ID, NI, PPENI, PPE, Renew

[1] https://www.eumonitor.eu/9353000/1/j4nvhdfdk3hydzq_j9vvik7m1c3gyxp/vlkimqggznzr

[2] https://www.europarl.europa.eu/cmsdata/247671/2022-04%2028%20roll-call%20votes.pdf

[3] https://www.europarl.europa.eu/cmsdata/248289/2022-05%2011%20roll-call%20votes.pdf

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