The box of Pandora is open. The end of the era of the combustion announced by the European Commission for 2050 has opened up a debate that still promises to be long. With the united States out of the Agreement of Paris, Brussels maneuver to convert to the European Union the first major bloc to abandon dependence on coal, oil, and natural gas. The goal is to eliminate emissions of greenhouse gases to slow global warming. The change of model is being waged in the middle of an intense game of trade-offs: Governments, Parliaments, companies, and workers depend on the new strategy. These are the reactions to the plan.
Too late . Some of the most critical voices come from the European Parliament and certain environmental organizations. The european Parliament called for an intermediate goal of reducing emissions by 55% in 2030, while the European Commission speaks of 45% for that date. Meps Greens have been particularly belligerent in the importance of not delaying efforts to the period 2030-2050. "Getting to that percentage is the only realistic scenario to comply with the Paris Agreement", noted the parliamentarian Spanish Florent Marcellesi.
The organization Transport & Environment has estimated that to make a reality of the purpose of europe, the latest registrations of passenger cars of combustion must anticipate to 2035. For now, despite the fact that the document of the European Commission provides that "the fleet of light commercial vehicles should be quickly replaced by zero-emission vehicles on the decades prior to 2050", only a handful of States have made public commitments that are approaching that date. Denmark, Ireland and the Netherlands have fixed as a limit by 2030. While France and the Uk are contemplating ending their sale in 2040. With a useful life of vehicles for about 15 years, the accounts will not come out.
The enigma of employment . The mep christian democrat belgian Ivo Belet has warned that the transition will be "much more complicated if the people see their jobs in danger." And his compatriot, the social democrat Kathleen van Brempt agreed that the reform "should not be to leave no one behind".
The commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, has tried to calm the potential affected: "I Want to reassure the workers of the mining sector. Have we heard them. I will come back to form to adapt to this economic climate."
The threat of protests . With the virulent revolt of the yellow vests active in France and Belgium, impose highest taxes on fuels to discourage their use has become a play policy for high risk. "Taxes are not the only way out", has responded Cañete, who believes in giving subsidies to green projects.
Lack of ambition in the East . Sources close to the negotiation of the new strategy perceive certain suspicions in bloc countries of Visegrad such as Poland, are still heavily dependent on coal. The fact that the rotating presidency of the EU in the first half of 2019 is in charge of Romania nor does it help to give you momentum, while in the second half of the year will come the turn of Finland, which is much more prone to an agenda markedly ecologist. The use of community funds to accelerate the ecological transition may be the most compelling to make you change of idea to the countries that are most reluctant.
As a countermeasure, a group of Environment ministers from a dozen countries —among them Spain, France and Italy— signed this month a letter calling on the Commission to be ambitious in order to achieve the purpose of the emissions in 2050. Germany, the great industrial power, european, broke on the afternoon of Wednesday, his silence to give his support to the Commission: "the european strategy fits well with our plan for climate protection", the conference endorsed the Environment minister, Svenja Schulze. The Danish prime minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, joined their supporters. In a speech at the European Parliament showed their happiness by the momentum of climate that seeks the Commission.
The biggest problem, the transport . While emissions from agriculture, industry, buildings and waste have gone to the poor, in the case of transport, which represents 27% of the total of the emissions, travel in the opposite direction, especially in the case of aviation and maritime transport.
the Patron saint of the sector, such as the CLEPA, which is a group of manufacturers of automotive components, say they are however willing to embrace change model. "It will require great efforts of the whole society, including the transport sector. The european suppliers are fully in accordance with the commitments made in the Paris Agreement", have affirmed this Wednesday in a press release.
seeking investors . Brussels will encourage the transformation towards an economy free of emissions, but its success will depend largely on the private sector. The European Commission estimates that we need between 175,000 and 290,000 million euros annual investment to cover the new energy infrastructure. In exchange, expects a huge saving of between two and three trillion euros in the import of oil and 200,000 million euros in health care costs.
in Spite of the difficulties on the horizon, the political signal launched by the EU at the forefront of global ambition. Given that its weight in the mix global emissions is relatively small —currently represents 10% of the total, the intention is that other countries will follow the european example. "We have many challenges ahead, but I'll tell you something: the status quo is no longer an option. The implications of not addressing climate change we have already seen," warns Cañete.