What European liberals have achieved over the past five years – the environment (part 1)

You would expect liberals to take a key role in fighting climate change and protecting our environment, and here are some of the highlights in that field…

Climate action to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement

ALDE was a driving force in strengthening the system for national greenhouse gas emission reductions to meet the EU’s target under the Paris Agreement. ALDE steered the legislation that determines the binding national 2030 climate targets through Parliament and introduced changes to make sure that the Member States’ annual emissions ceilings are set in a way that does not overshoot the EU’s ‘carbon budget’. At the same time, ALDE defended fairness and balance in how emission reduction efforts are divided among Member States.

A reformed EU emissions trading scheme

ALDE championed several reforms to improve the functioning of the EU’s carbon market – one of the cornerstones of EU’s climate policy. Together with other reform-minded Groups ALDE managed to ensure that a more effective price is put on emissions, and that EU and international climate targets are met. The reform of the ETS has led to a gradual restoration of the market price for emissions. Among the improvements, that ALDE either initiated or defended successfully:

  • New market mechanisms that will achieve a decisive reduction in the over-liquidity on the market.
  • Possibility for cancellation of ETS allowances by MSs when power plants are closed down, in order to take unnecessary emission quotas out of the market.
  • More EU-level support to breakthrough low-carbon innovations in industry and the energy sector through an enlarged new Innovation Fund financed by ETS allowances.
  • A more targeted approach to the system of free allocations to industry to protect against carbon leakage. Carbon efficiency improvements in industry must be incentivised while avoiding over-allocation and hidden subsidies.

    Long-term climate ambition

    ALDE has worked successfully for the adoption by the European Parliament of the objective of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by 2050, and for raising the EU’s 2030 climate ambition in line with this. ALDE’s has maintained a strong emphasis on a consistent and predictable long-term framework for climate and energy policies in the EU, with a clear decarbonisation vision in line with the Paris Agreement. These priorities are reflected in the common EU framework laid down in the regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union, and in the long-term plans that the Commission and each Member State will be drawing up as part of this framework.

    Thanks to our efforts and pressure, the Commission pledged to update the criteria for trans-European energy infrastructure projects and align them fully with our climate goals within the Connecting Europe Facility legislation.

    Combatting wildlife crime

    Based on demands raised by ALDE (which were subsequently endorsed by the whole EP), the Commission in 2016 adopted an EU Action Plan to combat global wildlife trafficking. This has given an impetus for coordinated EU action against one of the most profitable forms of organised crime in the world with devastating effects on global wildlife and biodiversity. ALDE has continued to make sure that the issue remains high on the EU agenda through various parliamentary activities.

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This entry was posted in Europe / International and News.

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