EU Approves Key Climate Change Law
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Scientists and global leaders have put combatting climate change at the top of their priorities. It's no secret that car emissions negatively impact air quality over time. As more countries commit to an emissions-free future, automakers are building more hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs).
Autoblog reported that the European Union (EU) has just approved a new law to make the bloc’s emissions targets legally binding. Policymakers are preparing a series of climate-saving policies. What kinds of policies will be introduced, and how might they reshape certain industries?
The EU's latest climate change agenda
On July 14, the European Commission will propose dozens of policies that target energy, transport, housing, and the auto industry to reduce CO2 emissions. According to Bloomberg, a part of these measures will aim to reduce the annual emissions limit for companies. This will make the cost of pollution more expensive and encourage companies to shift to green energy.
The Commission’s proposal details climate risks that will drive actions to fight against climate change in different sectors. For example, in the buildings sector, renovating houses to lower energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions can improve living conditions and create local jobs.
In April, EU member states and negotiators from Parliament agreed to raise the emissions-cutting target to 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels; it was previously 40% by 2030. By 2050, the EU hopes that it can eliminate emissions entirely.
Under the new climate law, Brussels will have to hire an independent body of experts to continually monitor its emissions-cutting progress. This body will advise on policies and calculate the emissions the EU can produce under its climate targets.
The U.S. is taking similar steps to reduce emissions
The EU and the U.S. are working towards similar climate-saving goals. President Biden has proposed a $2 trillion EV infrastructure plan. He wants an emissions-free power sector by 2035 and zero emissions by 2050.
In January, Biden announced an executive order to convert the U.S. government’s 645,000 vehicles to EVs. His policies aim to make it easier for American drivers to switch to electric.
Potential drawbacks of stricter emissions targets
Automotive News Europe reported that some members of the EU are not entirely in favor of tighter emissions targets. German automotive association VDA worries that these policies will eventually force all automakers to make exclusively electric cars.
The VDA also expressed concern that jobs in the supply industry will be lost as automakers shift to electric drivetrains. However, it’s important to keep in mind that new jobs can be created due to emerging green technology.
Drivers can do their part by switching to electric cars that produce lower emissions. Although EVs are more eco-friendly, they can be more expensive to insure than a traditional gas-powered car.
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