What the EU’s climate protection package will bring to businesses and citizens

Brussels The dispute in the German traffic light coalition stopped the highly symbolic fight for the internal combustion engine until the end, and with it the fundamental decision on the entire package of climate protection measures. But now the positions that EU member states agreed on Wednesday night are available.

It is true that no law is really finished yet, because the result of the negotiations still has to be compared with the decisions of the European Parliament. This will happen after the summer break.

However, the positions of the Member States and Parliament are very similar in many areas, so no more surprises are to be expected. Overview of the most important points:

The European Commission has promised to re-examine the case and submit a proposal. But that would first have to go through the EU’s long legislative process again. So what remains is the rear door, which is not particularly wide open.

Emissions trading is tightening up

In the years to come, the industry will be able to emit significantly less CO2 than it has done so far. For this purpose, CO2 certificates are withdrawn from the market. Member states are calling for a 61% reduction. by 2030 compared to 2005, the European Parliament calls for 63% So it is clear that there will be a significant tightening. For now, the law provides for only 40 percent. reductions.

This means higher costs for the industry: chemicals, steel, aluminum, fertilizers, cement, electricity and many other products become more expensive as a result. The EU wants to create an incentive for the most efficient production, that is to save energy.

New ships are included: in the future, certificates will also have to be purchased for their CO2 emissions.

Imports are subject to the CO2 price

If you want to import aluminum or steel into the EU in the future, you have to pay for it – as much as CO2 certificates in the EU would cost. This is regulated by a CO2 limiting regulation (abbreviated as: Cbam). This has been disputed for months, and some feared trade wars with exporting countries. Some EU countries tried to stop the law.

>> Read here: Adjusting the CO2 boundary: The steel industry is concerned about emigration

But it’s clear now that boundary adjustments will come. On the other hand, it is not clear exactly what goods are recorded. They will certainly include electricity, as well as goods from the cement, iron-steel, aluminum and fertilizer industries. MEPs also want to ensure registration of organic chemicals, plastics, hydrogen and ammonia.

The border tax is to protect the industry from foreign competition. Nevertheless, the affected sectors warn urgently against this.

Because at the same time, they will no longer receive free CO2 certificates, which will make their production much more expensive. Companies that export many goods to countries outside the EU are at a particular disadvantage.

The second emissions trading burden gasoline, diesel, gas and heating oil

What is already in force in Germany should become law across Europe: citizens should pay CO2 taxes when driving and heating their cars. This should provide an additional incentive for fuel-efficient and modern cars and heating systems. Member states want to collect taxes from 2027, the European Parliament even from 2024. Parliament is also entering into negotiations demanding that only companies pay, not private individuals. As this would create problems and gas stations would have to show different prices, it is likely that MEPs will not get their way.

A fund helps with renovation

The money is to flow to poorer households in poorer countries through the climate social fund, so that they can invest, for example, in insulation and modern heating systems. How much money this will be is debatable. The Member States want to provide EUR 59 billion, the Parliament around EUR 72 billion.

E-cars have more charging stations

Through EU law, it will dictate to member states how many charging stations they have to set up in order for drivers to rely on good deliveries. Parliament has yet to agree on the details. In principle, however, the project is not controversial.

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