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The Council of the European Union has approved the key directives and regulations of the Fit for 55 package. What is Fit for 55

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The key directives and regulations of the Fit for 55 package have been approved by the Council of the European Union. These are specific legal acts aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 (compared to 1990) and achieving climate neutrality by 2050. Not all solutions are supported by all members of the government. Solidarna Polska wants a resolution of the Sejm expressing opposition to the ban on registration of new combustion cars in the EU from 2035. We explain what the adoption of the package means.

The main regulations concern e.g. the reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), the new carbon frontier mechanism (CBAM), and the creation of the Social Climate Fund (SCF).

The assumptions of the Fit for 55 package

The reform of the emissions trading system assumes that the sectors already covered by the system are to reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions by 62 percent by 2030. compared to the level in 2005. There will also be a gradual withdrawal of free emission allowances in the years 2026-2034. In addition, a separate ETS II system will be created for fuels that are used in road transport and for heating buildings. Under the scheme, the EU will introduce charges on greenhouse gas emissions from these sectors in 2027 or in 2028 if energy prices will be exceptionally high. Greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping sector will also be included in the ETS. Another regulation concerns the provisions on the new EU mechanism for adjusting prices at borders taking into account CO2 emissions (CBAM). It will cover commodities such as iron, steel, cement, aluminium, fertilisers, electricity and hydrogen. Importers of these goods will have to pay the difference between the emission fee in the country of production and the price of emission allowances in the EU ETS. CBAM will be phased in from 2026 to 2034 as free ETS allowances are phased out. The creation of the EU Social Climate Fund in 2026 is intended to support households, micro-enterprises and transport users who are “particularly affected by energy and transport poverty”.

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Solidarna Polska: we have a historically bad day for Poland

Last week members of Solidarity Poland criticized adopted by European parliament directives and regulations from the “Fit for 55” package.

– We are having a historically bad day for Poland, for the entire European Union – stressed Deputy Minister of Climate and Environment Jacek Dekora at a press conference in the Sejm. “The European Parliament has made a decision that will cost us enormous amounts of money,” he said. Deputy Minister of Agriculture Janusz Kowalski reminded that “on December 11, 2020, he said: “veto or death”. – Unfortunately, on April 18, 2023, this death begins – he assessed. According to the politician of Solidarna Polska, “the lack of veto 858 days ago means that today this one European Unionwhich we know”.

On Tuesday, Solidarna Polska politicians presented a draft resolution in which they demand Poland’s opposition to the introduction of a ban on the registration of new combustion cars.

Fit for 55 – what you need to know?

Maciej Sokołowski, TVN24 correspondent, explained that the “Fit for 55” package, i.e. “Ready for 55”, is not one directive or regulations, but a collective name for a whole set of various types of climate regulations that are to prepare the European Union for climate neutrality. 55 marks the first stop on the road to neutrality, i.e. reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55%. by 2030.

What is included in “Fit for 55”?
“Fit for 55 includes a whole set of reforms, including: – reform of the ETS (emissions trading system), – Social Climate Fund, – emission reductions in construction (building insulation, heating, energy efficiency), – emission reductions in transport ( internal combustion engines), – price equalization mechanism at external borders, – afforestation.

How are regulations adopted?
Subsequent regulations or directives are normally adopted by majority vote. Each of the issues goes through the whole procedure separately, voting in the Council and Parliament – so there is no possibility to veto such provisions.

You can build a majority to block such legislation in the European Council or reject it in the European Parliament, but you cannot block it alone.

Poland usually votes against such provisions. Just like recently about the ban on internal combustion engines, where we lost 26 to 1. Poland is outvoted, so we lose the vote and the regulations come into force.

When was a veto possible?
A veto is possible at the European Council, i.e. at the summit of the European Union. Such a decision was made in December 2020, when an agreement was concluded to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030. Poland did not object then, Prime Minister Morawiecki agreed to the agreement.

Can you submit an application to CJEU?
You can always challenge a regulation to the CJEU, but it is difficult to find procedural grounds in this case.

All regulations come into force in accordance with European Union law, go through the entire legislative path and are accepted by most European Union countries. Often by all except Poland.

It is also difficult to talk about substantive grounds if you have to sue both the European Commission, the European Parliament and all other countries, arguing that they broke the law by adopting regulations that Poland does not like.

The argument that Poland will use in this situation will certainly be transgression of the treaties, i.e. accusing the European Union of going beyond its competences when deciding on the energy policy of individual states.

What else can be done to block regulations?
Emergency brakes are also included in many of these regulations. For example, the decision on electric motors will be reviewed after 2 years. The decision to reform the ETS may be delayed by the high price of gas. Until the regulations are revised, Poland would have to build a coalition of states that would support opposition to such solutions.

How to read words about vetoing?
As part of the election campaign. All Fit for 55 changes will be costly, especially for countries that have wasted money from emissions trading (ETS) and are not investing in new green technologies. For example, the regulations adopted today require that the money from the sale of emission allowances be allocated to green investments.

Read also: The end of combustion cars. There is consent of EU countries

Author:jr, Maciej Sokołowski/ams

Main photo source: artjazz/shutterstock

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