Voters put climate crisis firmly on EU agenda
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Last weekend, EU citizens turned up at the polls in record numbers in what was framed as the vote on Europe’s future. The European Parliament elections did not produce clear winners amongst the political groups, but one thing is certain: climate change has become a hot topic on the European political agenda. Carbon taxes will be among the top climate issues for the incoming policymakers to wrap their heads around.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a new report recommends that countries use the Paris agreement implementation to coordinate and strengthen their carbon pricing measures, for example through regional price floors. In Europe, the carbon market has failed to drive industrial emissions cuts, as underlined by the latest data which shows that carbon pollution from European heavy industry has not gone down over the past seven years. A new industrial policy mix is needed to address this – another task for the next EU Commission.
European lawmakers have vowed to act in order to rein in emissions from international shipping, in case the UN shipping body, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), fails to take decisive action by 2023. Last year, IMO agreed to cut emissions from the sector by at least 50% by 2050. However, it failed to deliver concrete measures to achieve this goal at a meeting earlier this month, a course that must be corrected at the next session. Carbon pricing is one of the mid-term measures that would help slash shipping pollution.
Finally, together with European partners, we have analysed the draft national energy and climate plans of Spain, Italy, Romania, Poland and Hungary and found a serious lack of commitment by governments to ambitious and concrete climate measures. As the continuing climate protests and the EU election results make clear, now is no time for foot-dragging and governments must significantly improve their final plans, to be handed in by the end of the year.
on behalf of the Carbon Market Watch team,
- News: Did the elections mark a turning point for taxing carbon?
- Opinion: Why we need more than just the EU carbon market to tackle industrial pollution
- Opinion: Shipping must stay the course and agree on effective climate measures
- Opinion: It’s time governments moved together towards strong global pollution pricing
- Publication: Carbon Market Watch Annual Report 2018
- Publication: Fit to succeed? – Assessments of five draft national energy and climate plans (PlanUp)
- Press release: Europe’s future will need better climate plans – report