Last week saw the announcement of two major initiatives which will touch all lives and businesses within Europe.
Firstly, the European Union announced its most ambitious climate change proposals to date:
The ‘Fit for 55 package’ (so named, because it would put the bloc on track to meet its 2030 goal of reducing emissions by 55% from 1990 levels), included a number of key proposals:
· A carbon border tariff, where manufacturers from outside the EU pay more for importing materials like steel and concrete.
· Plans to expand renewable energy through-out the bloc.
· Tighter emission limits for cars, which would move toward ending the sale of petrol & diesel vehicle by 2035.
But, it’s the proposal to introduce a tax on aviation fuel, and a 10-year tax holiday for low-carbon alternatives which will likely draw the most attention of the travel industry.
EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans, said we’re asking a lot of our citizens and industries “but we do it for good cause. We do it to give humanity a fighting chance.”
The proposal will likely spark fierce debate and years of negotiations amongst the EU member states.
Secondly, the UK government published its ‘greenprint’ to decarbonise all modes of domestic transport by 2050:
The ambitious plan aims to create cleaner air and tens of thousands of new jobs by:
· Investing billions in cycling & walking
· Supporting the switch to cleaner vehicles
· Creating a net zero rail network by 2050
· Reducing domestic aviation emissions to net zero by 2040
· Transitioning to greener shipping.
Greg Archer, UK Director of the Europe-wide green transport campaign group Transport & Environment, said:
“To ensure the UK meets its climate targets, the government will need to convert its raft of new proposals into measures that rapidly change how people and goods move. More difficult decisions to reduce vehicle use and flying and reallocate spending towards green transport options will be needed, but this plan signifies a commendable and substantial shift in the right direction.”
Businesses and individuals should prepare for the regulations which will be needed to deliver these initiatives.