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Carbon Market Watch response to public consultation for the EU climate ambition for 2030

EU climate policymaking should be informed and aligned with the latest available science and the EU’s commitment under the Paris Agreement, in particular the objective of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C. In light of the EU’s capacity to act and principles of global equity, the Union should achieve at least 65% emission reductions by 2030, compared to 1990 levels and reach net zero emissions by 2040 without relying on any international carbon offsets. A key aspect of this transition is to move Europe to an energy system fully based on renewable energy, the latest by 2040.

Carbon pricing can play an important role in achieving these goals, but it will need to be complemented by other policies and measures and implemented in a socially fair manner. The polluter pays principle should apply throughout the European economy, and the practice of allowing energy-intensive industries to pollute for free must end as soon as possible.

Ramping up climate action in the short term will bring about multiple benefits such as allowing a more gradual pathway to reaching a climate-neutral EU, creating new (green) jobs and lowering pollution, improving health, making cities and buildings more liveable and thus increasing the well-being of citizens.

Carbon Market Watch insists on the need to ensure a socially just transition. We support the concept of providing financial support as a necessary tool by governments and companies to help the regions affected to transition away from unavoidable job losses. Social friction and marginalisation by the less-empowered should be reduced as much as possible.

For Carbon Market Watch, industry and energy supply are among the sectors where most efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are necessary for the perspective of increased greenhouse gas emission reduction target for 2030.

Energy production and consumption remain largely based on fossil fuels and represent more than 75% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon Market Watch considers phase-out of fossil fuels, higher energy efficiency and reduced need for energy thanks to life-style changes to be among the main drivers of the necessary energy transition.

Industry is responsible for 25% of the final energy consumption and for about 20% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. Significantly reducing their emissions in order to meet the zero pollution ambition is a particular challenge, and will require technologies to be tested and deployed at scale within the 2030 timeframe, taking into account the investment cycles in industry. Carbon Market Watch sees higher energy efficiency and electrification of industrial processes as well as developing a more circular economy and substituting emissions-intensive products by alternative products made with low or no greenhouse gas emissions to be among the most important drivers of the industrial transformation.

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