European Green Deal: EU starting Fit for 55 implementation after first legislation adopted

The Commission welcomes the final adoption yesterday by the EU Member States of the revised regulations on CO2 emission standards for new cars and vans, on Effort Sharing and on Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF). These milestone agreements will enable the EU to start the implementation phase of the ‘Fit for 55′ legislative package, presented by the Commission in July 2021 to deliver the European Green Deal. This puts the Union on track to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and become climate-neutral by 2050.

Under the new CO2 emission performance standards all new cars and vans registered in Europe will have to be zero-emission from 2035. These stricter CO2 standards will bring down transport emissions, helping to steadily advance towards zero-emission mobility, tackle air pollution across the Union and keep the automotive industry innovative and internationally competitive. In a statement accompanying the vote, the Commission has committed to submit proposals to give effect to the co-legislators’ request in the Regulation for enabling the registration of cars and vans exclusively running on carbon-neutral fuels after 2035.

The revised Effort Sharing Regulation establishes more ambitious binding annual greenhouse gas emission targets for Member States in sectors not currently included in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). The final text maintains the Commission’s proposal to boost the emission reduction target for the ESR sectors (buildings, agriculture, waste, small industry, and transport) from 29% to 40% by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.

The revised LULUCF Regulation increases the EU’s target for net carbon removals by natural sinks to 310 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2030. The new rules set ambitious and fair targets for each Member State to reverse the decreasing trend of the EU’s carbon sink.

Yesterday, the Council also adopted a decision amending the Market Stability Reserve (MSR) of the EU Emissions Trading System. The MSR, which stabilises the carbon market by removing surplus allowances, is now strengthened. Further changes to the MSR will be adopted as part of the revision of the EU ETS expected to be adopted in the next weeks as well, following the provisional deal last December.

The deals reached by the European Parliament and Council at the end of last year can now enter into force following the formal approval of both co-legislators. These updated laws are set to deliver on the targets agreed in the European Climate Law and fundamentally transform the EU’s economy and society for a fair, green and prosperous future.