“I think increasing the ambition of national climate targets is unavoidable.
To reach zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, in the coming 30 years we will have to move away from things that are so interconnected with our daily lives: driving a car with a combustion engine, fuelling it at the gas station, heating our houses with gas boilers, fuel oil or coal.
To move away from this within 30 years, there is no time to lose. We have to gear up now. EU leaders have agreed that the EU should do more to fight climate change. They agreed that the commitments from five years ago wouldn’t be sufficient.
But they are looking at the EU to make it happen, instead of accepting to do more at home. We say it will not work that way. Each country will have to do more. Each country will have to embark on a zero-emissions transition and must do its fair share.
The alternative would be to rely on a new EU-wide carbon pricing mechanism that would cut emissions in the building and transport sectors through rising fuel prices. We don’t believe that raising fuel prices for everyone is the way to go.
We believe we need smart policies that drive the uptake of clean vehicles by those who can make the shift more easily. For example, people buying a new car. They can be directed to cleaner models through smart design of vehicle registration taxes. Company cars: favorable tax regimes for company cars could be limited to zero emission vehicles.
This requires more action at the national level. National governments will need to support the uptake of clean vehicles, to invest in good and affordable public transportation, to create green cities with clean air, to support the renovation of our houses and make them more comfortable and equipped with clean heating and cooling.
Without accountability of member states to deliver higher national climate goals, it is hard to imagine a fair transition.
That is why we, a strong coalition of NGOs, started a petition. The EU is asking citizens' contribution now. We want to help people understand what is at stake and participate.
All the info on the website EverybodyCounts.eu”