The European Union is in a particularly tough situation when it comes to energy due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. And with this in mind, a big piece of climate legislation was rejected by the EU parliament. It’s a major setback for the environment.
The proposals that did not pass included a carbon market reform, a carbon border tax, and a social climate fund. And these may sound familiar because they are the centerpiece of the Fit for 55 plan. Without them, it will fail.
For those unaware, this is the biggest environmental plan in the EU, which call for this collection of nations to lower greenhouse emissions by 55% by 2030. And by 2050, achieve climate neutrality. However, the proposals that failed are not dead, they can still be negotiated.
Let’s examine what led to this outcome and if the bill is really dead.
Why Did Lawmakers Reject This Climate Legislation?
To understand why these proposals failed, you need to understand the energy situation in Europe.
Currently, the EU gets 45% of its gas from Russia. Without Russian oil and gas, the EU will not be able to produce enough energy, which gives Russia a tremendous amount of influence in the EU.
While the EU is taking drastic steps to move away from Russian oil, it will take time, and that puts the EU’s energy security at the mercy of Russia.
Currently, no matter where you live, there is no way you have not noticed the price of gas has been going up at an alarming rate. This is having a knock-on effect by raising the price of goods as transportation costs skyrocket.
Now that I’ve set the stage, consider the proposal of passing legislation that raises the cost of energy during a time of uncertainty. And more specifically, putting a strain on businesses that are already struggling to keep prices from rising.
While I think it’s an important step to achieving the world’s climate goals, it’s very hard to say that it’s a good idea with current circumstances in mind. Thus, it’s only natural that these proposals would fail in their current state.
Yet, not all hope is lost.
There Is Still Hope They Could Pass
It’s important to understand that these proposals are not dead. Lawmakers will begin renegotiating what they include and what they will impact.
Thus, they could definitely still pass, just not in their current state. And most likely not in the current economic period.
With this said, it was surprising to see the rejection. Before the vote was made, multiple lawmakers in opposition were open to negotiations, but it seems those efforts failed.
At least for now.
The major problem this presents is that it could, and most likely will, lengthen the legislation process behind this bill. And by the time it passes, it may no longer be possible to achieve the goals it was created for.
Obviously, only time will tell, but I wouldn’t say that the Fit for 55 bill is unobtainable yet.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.