Kateřina Davidová, in her latest policy paper, examines climate policy in the European Parliament. Looking ahead and drawing conclusions form past climate policies, what are the future perspectives?
Other climate-related legislation that the Parliament voted upon in the past five years included setting stricter emissions standards for vehicles, reducing the impact and banning some types of single-use plastic products and limiting the use of palm oil in biofuels, which has proven harmful to climate as its overuse causes serious deforestation.
Central and eastern Europeans did not consider climate to be the highest priority topic (for example, only 69% of Czechs view it as their top concern), even though they place a lot of importance on related topics such as air quality, sustainability of agriculture and general protection of nature and wildlife. This is true also for the average European – environmental protection is seen as an important topic for 82% of all Europeans taking part in the survey.
The EU will be discussing two major climate targets – for 2030 and 2050. As the consensus on the 2030 target has been reached quite recently by all the member states, there is a reluctance to re-open this folder once again. However, the current emissions reduction target of 40% is not in line with the Paris Agreement and not sufficient to ward off the increase of temperature beyond 1,5°C. As a result, there have been calls, including by the European Parliament, to increase this EU-wide target in order to meet the Paris pledges.
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Expertise: EU climate and energy policy, environmental protection, EU-US relations