• European Green Deal to target 50-55% drop in emissions by 2030, 100% by 2050, but Polish objection causes delay in adoption

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

The European Commission has outlined plans to re-evaluate the European economy in view of climate and ecological impacts, in what is being called the European Green Deal. Ursula von der Leyen, the new EC president, has appealed to EU member states and parliamentarians to support the plans, which the Guardian newspaper describes as “the biggest overhaul of policy since the foundation of the modern EU”. A target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 is at the heart of the plan (and 50-55% by 2030), as is a goal to produce 100% of electricity from renewable energies by the same time. Tougher air quality targets are proposed, along with more transport by rail and water. Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary would receive up to €100 billion (US$112 billion) to finance the transition, while a tax on imported goods from countries emitting higher amounts of greenhouse gases might also be applied. Other measures include specific standards on the manufacturing of goods to create a circular economy and phase out unnecessary plastic and other waste before it is created, while there is also an acknowledgement amongst the documents that carbon capture (utilisation) and storage are technologies that should be fostered. However, the European Green Deal has already met its first hurdle, with Poland being the only country to refuse to endorse the plan during a summit of EU leaders. In consequence, the plan will not be brought back to formal discussion until June 2020.