The European Commission (EC) wants to increase the 2030 emission reduction target from the current 40% to at least 55%. This was the position expressed by EC President Urzula von der Leiena in her annual address on the situation in the European Union (EU) this morning. </p><div> <p><strong>IN SHORT:</strong>
- In a speech of almost an hour and a half, Leiena expressed her views on the state of the EU.
- EC: climate cannot be expected; encourages a faster reduction in emissions by 2030.
- EC: current 40% emission reduction target should be replaced by a more ambitious 55% threshold.
- There is a heated debate in the EU on this; the new plan must be supported by EU leaders and the EP.
- Leiena also called for greater solidarity in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
- EC leader: EU needs to strengthen crisis preparedness and cross-border health threat management.
- Warns EU countries not to be selfish about coronavirus vaccines.
- The EC will soon call for a minimum wage in the bloc countries.
- Expresses its support for the Belarusian protesters; opposes closer cooperation with Russia.
The European Commission is setting new climate targets
European Commission wants to raise emissions reduction target to at least 55%Artyom Konohov
The EC leader promised that all European laws would be reviewed by next year to meet the new goal. EC analysis shows that such a setting is achievable and demanded by many entrepreneurs.
The EC’s proposal to step up the fight against climate change is largely in line with the position of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). They want emissions to be reduced by as much as 60% by 2030. However, the von der Leien Commission chose a slightly lower target. In her speech, EP von der Leiena said that the main goal is to bring about systemic change in order to create a stronger world. The EC therefore promises to address issues such as deforestation, the production of harmful chemicals, air pollution and other aspects. It is also extremely important to invest in the renovation of buildings, as 40% of emissions now come from homes.
An emissions reduction plan to 2030 has yet to be agreed between EU leaders and the EP.
The debate on reducing emissions in the bloc is very heated, with some countries stating that they cannot make greater reductions due to the dependence of their economies on polluting sectors such as the coal industry. It is even accepted that, in order to achieve this goal, Europe may have to phase out the production of new cars with petrol or diesel engines.
However, von der Leiena’s deputy executive Valdis Dombrovskis (“New Unity”) said that work was still underway on the details.
“Of course, this will mean changes in many areas. The European Commission is currently preparing various proposals on what this will mean in the field of energy efficiency, renewables and including electromobility. This issue will also be addressed and these targets will be adjusted,” said Dombrovskis. .
Environmentalists, for their part, point out that a 55% reduction is not enough to meet the EU’s long-term goal of a climate-neutral economy by 2050.
Calls for greater solidarity in the fight against the pandemic
Leiena also called for greater solidarity in combating the coronavirus pandemic and building a stronger health system within the bloc. “Europe’s people are still suffering,” Leiena said. “So our first priority is to pull each other through this [laikam].”
According to her, the coronavirus crisis has not only highlighted weaknesses, but also demonstrated people’s courage and ability to overcome difficulties.
According to von der Leien, EU coordination during the pandemic has helped to open closed national borders, repatriate travelers and ensure that countries do not try to keep critical goods for themselves.
“Our civil protection mechanism ensured that doctors from Romania could treat patients in Italy or that Latvia could send masks to its Baltic neighbors.
And we have achieved all this without full competence in this area. That is why it is crystal clear to me that we need to build a stronger European Health Union, “said the EC President.” And we need to strengthen our crisis preparedness and the management of cross-border health threats. “
Funding for the EU’s health program needs to be increased, and a global health summit will be held in Italy next year during its G-20 presidency, Leiena said. “It will show Europeans that the Union is here to protect everyone.”
Another step will be the establishment of the European Agency for Biomedical Research (BARDA), Leiena said. The EC will also seek to strengthen the European Medical Agency and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
She also warned countries not to be selfish about coronavirus vaccines, which are widely seen as a solution to the crisis.
“Vaccine nationalism threatens lives. Vaccine cooperation saves them,” Leiena said.
She also called for the reform and strengthening of the World Health Organization “so that we can better prepare” for future pandemics.
The amount of the minimum wage in the bloc countries will be encouraged
Von der Leiena also promised that the EC would soon come up with a proposal on how the minimum wage in the bloc countries should be set so that people could feed their families for the wages they received.
However, Dace Melbārde (National Union), Vice-Chair of the EP’s Culture and Education Committee, believes that this is not enough.
“Unfortunately, the only mechanism for drafting a law regulating the minimum wage does not solve the issue of fair pay in all professions. It really only affects people who receive the minimum wage.
Consequently, I would have liked a clear position here on how to redress the unequal situations of countries, both in terms of economic growth and in terms of quality of life in general.
Given that the new challenge is to go much further to such a vital Europe, there was a complete lack of education, without which a vital and strong Europe is inconceivable, “said Melbarde.
In general, Melbārde positively assessed von der Leiena’s speech and expressed priorities. Nils Ušakovs, a Member of the Socialist Group in the Social Democrats (“Harmony”), also praised what he heard. According to him, Europe is gradually becoming similar to the United States and the new level of federalization is gradually being implemented.
“In this situation, my main conclusion is that the president wants to make Europe more centralized. And that the key elements are social affairs, the Health Union, and on the other hand, total debt and shared financial responsibility – that is very positive,” Ushakov said.
Expresses its support for the Belarusian protesters; against closer cooperation with Russia
Turning to other issues, Leiena expressed concern that hopes of concluding a trade agreement with Britain were diminishing,
and warned London that its attempts to change the withdrawal agreement by law were illegal.
At the same time, the EC leader acknowledged the need to continue to maintain the best possible relations with the United States and Great Britain, although opinions do not always coincide.
She also warned Turkey not to try to intimidate Cyprus and Greece in the face of growing tensions in the eastern Mediterranean.
Leiena said Turkey was a key partner in playing an important role in hosting refugees, but “this is not an excuse for trying to intimidate its neighbors”.
Leiena also called on Europe to work together on migration issues after the fire at Europe’s largest refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, which left 12,000 migrants homeless.
“I expect all member states to make an effort as well. Migration is a European challenge, and the whole of Europe must do its part,” said Leiena.
She also pointed out that the so-called LGBT-free zones have no place in the EU, apparently against Poland.
“I will not stop when it comes to creating an equality union,” Leiena promised. “A union where you can be who you are and love what you want – without fear of reproach or discrimination. Because being yourself is not your ideology. It is your identity. And no one can take it away. So I I want to be absolutely clear: LGBTQI-free zones are humanity-free zones. And they have no place in our union. ”
The EC leader also expressed clear support for the Belarusian protesters and said that he was opposed to closer cooperation with Russia, as the poisoning of the opposition Alexei Navalny only reaffirmed the Kremlin’s behavior. And no pipeline will be able to change that.