David McAllister MEP: Our EPP successes in the Fit for 55 package
The EPP Group has successfully brought the law negotiations across the finish line. The EPP is the political force that ensures Europe’s 2030 climate protection targets are met and the Paris Agreement is being safeguarded. At the same time, the EPP Group provided breathing space to companies and citizens and supports them in making the transition.
We are protecting our planet and want to hand it over to the next generation in good shape. Cutting CO2 emissions by 55 percent is very ambitious, but necessary to achieve climate neutrality towards 2050. For the Green Deal to work in practice, it must become a success story for citizens and companies. We worked hard to make sure it brings innovation, security, strengthens competitiveness and creates European jobs. The EPP Group greatly improved the Fit for 55 package.
The Green Deal has been improved by the EPP on the following points:
For the EPP Group, it was very important to give breathing space to citizens and companies in times of high energy prices. We postponed important changes to the price of CO2 emissions until after 2026. Only after 2026, will the ambition be higher. This is possible because until 2026, we will focus on investing more in energy efficiency and renewable energy, which is anyhow necessary to get rid of Russian fossil fuels. Achieving breathing space for companies means, in practice, starting the new Emissions Trading System (ETS) for buildings and transport later, while the Social Climate Fund supports citizens in advance.
Thanks to the EPP Group, the final overall climate ambition is even higher than the initially agreed 55% CO2 reduction by 2030. Through changes, which the EPP achieved on land use and forestry and the ETS, the de facto final reduction target is roughly 57%.
We reward innovation: we decarbonise and don’t de-industrialise. For example, thanks to us, a company that invests in innovative clean technologies will be rewarded additional free CO2 emission rights to cover their investment costs. On the other hand, companies that make little effort to decarbonise will pay a higher bill in the following years. We also achieved that Member States must spend the revenues of the ETS on innovation, and cannot simply put them into their own pockets anymore.
We have made sure that those who are struggling to make the green transition get help, especially those at risk of energy or transport poverty. For example, we have ensured that from 2026, vulnerable households, small businesses and everyone who uses transport will benefit from a social fund worth €86.7 billion. In addition, we have also ensured that revenues from the ETS for buildings and transport have to be spent to help vulnerable households and to protect jobs. Through a Modernisation Fund, we secured more money for Central and Eastern European Member States to catch up.
We achieved fair conditions for European companies when they compete globally. We pushed the European Commission to come forward with a strategy to ensure the supply of sustainable raw materials. We ensured major investments in innovation and in infrastructure, for instance by massively increasing the Innovation Fund. We don’t only want a Green Deal. We are also fighting for a strengthened, strategic European industry policy. This must go hand-in-hand.
We made sure that European energy markets function well, supply households and companies in Europe with the energy they need at affordable prices and enable the rollout of more renewable energy. The EPP Group was the first to propose to increase the share of renewable energy, as a reaction to the Russian war in Ukraine.
We work with the market, not against it. We pushed for market-based measures, not for ‘command and control’ only. We incentivise households and companies to invest in clean technologies. Instead of just forbidding things, we give benefits to those who go clean. Investments in climate-friendly technology will pay off. We insisted on technology neutrality.
The Green Deal must not end up in more red tape. As the Fit for 55 law package will bring in new and more rules, we continue to push for the reduction of bureaucracy and costs.