Climate, the lobbies fighting against the EU green plan on emissions: from cars to airplanes to concrete: “Anti-innovation measures”

L’Europe finds face to face with the effects of the climate crisis. And it happens not only close to the presentation by the EU Commission of the package ‘Fit for 55‘which should lead us to reduce le emissions by 55% compared to 1990, to then reach the carbon neutrality by 2050. It happens, above all, that our continent must count over a hundred dead and about 1300 missing, just as the lobby half Union (Germany in the front row) are preparing to put pressure on governments to reject the Brussels plan, the main tool for climate mitigation never written down (even if considered unambitious given the gravity of the crisis).

It sounds like a paradox, but it is proof of a epochal conflict. And the hardest lesson comes from Germany, the iconic country of landscape maintenance and impeccable weather service which, however, could not avoid the catastrophe. “Not even Berlin, which for years has initiated policies to restore space to rivers, is safe from the worst consequences of climate change” recalls the Wwf, underlining that “there is no more time” and that “climate action must be accelerated at exponential rates if we want to avoid the most dangerous and unmanageable consequences. The zeroing of emissions (mitigation) – the association recalls – must be implemented in the shortest possible time, well before 2050 and, at the same time, adaptation policies must really be implemented ”. In Italy, for example, the Adaptation Plan is still at a standstill and has never passed to the implementation phase. Again we act as if we didn’t on the head a sword of Damocles.

THE LOBBY PRESSURE – And while, on the other side of the Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal sees in the European plan the attempt to put Washington with its back against the wall in terms of climate commitments, the Financial Times he tells of the criticisms that in these hours are directed at the Brussels plan from Europe. The hardest come fromautomotive industry and concern the introduction of stricter rules on emissions, including the obligation to reset them by 2030 for new models. The German auto makers lobby said the measures are “anti-innovation” and “almost impossible to achieve”, even though Volkswagen, which is investing $ 35 billion in electric cars, welcomed the plan. But the airlines (including the German one) are also protesting Lufthansa), for which important news arrives: the inclusion in the system Ets, a mandatory green fuel quota and a new kerosene tax. Second A4E, the association of European companies the effect will be the increase in ticket prices. For the president of there it is, the International Air Transport Association the plan represents “an own goal”. And then there is the industry (concrete, steel, fertilizers e aluminum) concerned about the phasing out of free allowances on carbon emissions by 2036.

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THE POSITION OF ENVIRONMENTALISTS – These are all issues to which the EU Commission will have to give an answer, but on its side it has the terrible news and the historical proportions of the phenomenon that has struck Germany, but also Belgium, Luxembourg e Netherlands. “If we continue at these rates, with a concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere which in June reached 419 parts per million, ie at the levels of 3 million years ago – explains the WWF – we would be destined for increases of over 3 ° C ”. And it is for this reason that those who, in the opposite direction to that of the lobbies, consider the European plan insufficient. Interviewed by, the director of Greenpeace Italy, Giuseppe Onufrio, recalls that Germany in 2019 had approved a climate law with a target of 55% greenhouse gas reduction by 2030 (compared to 1990). In practice the same goal as the one just presented in Europe. “This year a group of activists, including Greenpeace – explains Onufrio – challenged that text (the Klimatpaket) and, with an epochal ruling, the Federal Constitutional Court of Karlsruhebased on scientific data, he declared that the German climate change law does not protect ‘the rights of the new generations’ with respect to the measures that the state must take to protect them from the effects of climate change ”.

And so on the one hand there is this sentence, on the other the outcry that comes precisely in the hours of the disaster that no one expected. “It comes from those who have never felt they have to do something and invest in this energy transformation – continues Onufrio – especially in some sectors, such as oil. In Italy, for example, we ran a campaign criticizing the plan Eni and repeatedly denounced delays in the auto industry. On the other hand, we have seen how even in recent months the fossil lobby has tried and is trying to slow down the path towards transition ”.

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WHAT WILL REMAIN OF THE PLAN – Second Matteo Leonardi, expert on energy policies and markets and founder of the think tank on climate change Here it is, this is precisely the problem. “I believe the Brussels climate plan should be evaluated on several levels – explains a – because if we judge only the alignment to the goal of staying below 1.5 ° of temperature increase, from that point of view it is insufficient, it is a fact. It is a legitimate assessment, but it must be considered that the EU, in full pandemic, has put on the plate before the Cop 26 a decarbonization plan to 2050 with which the leadership of global climate policies is not blown, not even by Usa of Biden”.

This is enough? “He certainly could have been more ambitious (for example on renewable) and clearer in defining gas as part of the problem, but on other fronts, such as the automotive sector, I believe it marks a well-defined path. It worries me little if we are talking about 2030 or 2035 for the end of the thermal engine, because I believe that even in the second case, if a European citizen has to change the car at this point he will choose the option that he can drive for a long time, without then having to change it. within a few years. And at the same time, even the industry will have to reverse the direction and flow of investments, practically immediately “. Provided that the package remains this.

“Exactly – he adds – and that is why bringing it home as it is is the real challenge and it won’t be easy. First of all, because we are talking about two important years, fundamental for climate change ”. And then for the obstacles, including political ones. The pressure and criticism of these days could be just a taste of what will happen in the next couple of years. “In the round of European presidencies – adds Leonardi – just to name one, there is also that of the France, which will be under elections. And, therefore, under pressure ”. On the other hand, the vice-president of the Commission Frans Timmermans was very clear: “It will be frighteningly difficult. But we have to do it, there is no other choice: otherwise our grandchildren will fight wars for water and food ”.

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