Opinion & Analysis

Q&A: How ‘Fit for 55’ reforms will help EU meet its climate goals

The European Commission has published proposals on how the European Union should reach its legally binding target to cut emissions to 55% below 1990 levels by 2030.

Spanning thousands of pages, its “Fit for 55” package includes a wide range of reforms, covering the key EU climate policies, as well as various related laws on transport, energy and taxation.

The package of 13 proposals includes tightening the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), pricing emissions from heat and transport in a parallel ETS and adding a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) to tax high-carbon imports, such as steel and cement.

Other proposals include phasing out petrol and diesel car sales across the bloc by 2035, raising targets for renewables and energy efficiency, setting higher, binding national targets for sectors outside the EU ETS and, separately, setting binding goals for carbon dioxide (CO2) removals.

A new “social climate fund” is proposed to help vulnerable households disproportionately affected by higher fossil fuel prices, offering “temporary” income support and longer-term investment.

Lengthy negotiations will now begin between the EU’s executive branch, member state governments and the European Parliament. Many details are likely to change before the reforms are adopted.

In this in-depth Q&A, Carbon Brief explains what is in the commission’s proposals and how they intend to “fundamentally transform” the EU economy and society on the way to net-zero by 2050.

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