To align the European Union (EU) with its climate ambitions, the European Commission has published the long-awaited "Fit-for-55" package, thirteen cross-cutting legislative proposals comprising eight revisions of existing regulations or directives and five new proposals. This large adjustment package is designed to give the Union the tools and rules to cut its CO2 emissions by 55 percent by 2030 and then properly set the path to climate neutrality by 2050. The European Climate Law, passed a few weeks earlier, made these goals binding.
The main purpose of "Fit for 55”" is to advance decarbonization in the Union and make it cross-cutting across multiple sectors of the European economy, in order to chart an effective and orderly course over these three decades. In fact, without an updated package of measures, Europe would only achieve a 60 percent reduction in emissions by 2050, according to the Commission's analysis. While 75 percent of the world's GDP is now covered by some kind of climate neutrality target, the EU is the first to translate this vision into truly concrete proposals and policies. The action put forward by the Commission is very ambitious and essentially touches on all the main European policy areas (budget, industry, economy, social affairs) - and for this reason has provoked quite a few discussions even within the Commission itself. It will take time to see in what form and how soon these measures will be approved after passage through Parliament and the Council - but the EU's message in these exceptional times of pandemic recovery is definitely aimed at sustainability.