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The Grand Committee adopted a statement on the Fit for 55 package

Published 12/2/2021 2:00 PM
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The Grand Committee adopted a statement on the Fit for 55 package

​At its meeting on Wednesday, 1 December, the Grand Committee adopted a statement on the EU's Fit for 55 package. The Committee adopted the statement after voting. Two dissenting opinions were appended to the statement. The Grand Committee received several statements from the special parliamentary committees for the handling of the matter.

The Fit for 55 package includes 12 legislative proposals on climate, transport, energy, and taxation. They aim to reduce the EU's net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 and to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The package strengthens eight existing pieces of legislation and introduces four new initiatives. Revision of the EU emissions trading system, the effort-sharing regulation and the LULUCF Regulation on land use are proposed to enhance the steering effect of climate legislation. In the field of energy legislation, changes are proposed to the renewable energy directive and the energy efficiency directive. Transport regulation will be revised regarding the directive on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure and the Regulation on CO2 emission standards for cars and vans. In addition, the Commission is proposing a revision of the energy tax directive.

New initiatives include a proposal for a carbon border adjustment mechanism, proposals to promote sustainable aviation fuels and renewable fuels for maritime transport, and a proposal to set up a social climate fund.

Grand Committee: the climate goal must guide all decision-making in the EU

In its statement, the Grand Committee reiterates its view that a climate-neutral EU by 2050 is a goal that must guide all decision-making in the EU. In order to respond to climate change, the EU must maintain its position as a leader in global climate policy and promote the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, in particular the limitation of global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This requires the introduction of ambitious and consistent measures in the EU.

The Grand Committee considers the Government's position that proposals must be assessed from the point of view of both the national and European overall interests to be justified. The regulation of the Fit for 55 package must support emission reductions in a cost-effective way, encourage low-carbon investment and guide the EU's transition to a carbon-neutral economy. Obligations must be shared fairly and equitably with the Member States.

The Grand Committee also considers it important that the Fit for 55 package be implemented in a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable, regionally and locally fair way, taking into account the prevention of biodiversity loss and the digital transition. Achieving these goals requires, in addition to regulation, investment in research, development and innovation, digitalisation, training and skills upgrading, and employment.

The Grand Committee considers it important that the regulation resulting from the negotiations is clear, proportionate, consistent and technology-neutral. Regulatory stability and predictability are essential for securing the business environment and a favourable investment climate. Climate change cannot be tackled with public funds alone, but the transition to a carbon-neutral economy will require substantial private investment in low-carbon technologies in all sectors of the economy. Sufficient time must also be given for regulatory implementation. Duplication, inconsistency, and administrative burden of regulation must be avoided.

The Grand Committee also draws attention to ensuring that the EU's principles of subsidiarity and proportionality are met. EU level measures must not be taken when the matter can be dealt with more effectively at Member State level, and EU action must not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the objectives of the EU Treaties. These principles should also be respected when Member States in the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament delegate power to the Commission to adopt lower-level implementing regulation and delegated acts.

 

The Grand Committee has a negative view of the Social Climate Fund

The Commission is proposing to set up a new Social Climate Fund to mitigate the negative effects of the introduction of the emissions trading system for road transport and buildings, for vulnerable households, micro-enterprises, and transport users. The Grand Committee, like the special committees, has a negative view of the Social Climate Fund in the form in which it is presented. However, the Grand Committee considers it important that the Government promotes the goal of the Fit for 55 package of a regionally and socially equitable transition and the reduction of energy and transport poverty by other means.

In its statement, the Grand Committee also assesses the key negotiation issues in other individual legislative proposals in the Fit for 55 package. The Committee emphasizes that, to increase its influence, the Finnish negotiators must be active and constructive in discussing the package, offering their own solutions, and maintaining close contact with all key actors to promote Finland's positions. Efforts should also be made to identify and propose alternative solutions to critical issues to ensure that the emission reduction target is met or exceeded.

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