Carrot. Stick. Muddle. Hope.
Brussels sets 'Fit for 55' net zero agenda, but better offsetting is key to curb emissions
OUR CHILDREN WILL BE FIGHTING wars for food and water unless European governments follow new rules from Brussels for curbing greenhouse gas emissions. That was the grim prophecy from Frans Timmermans, the former Dutch foreign minister and - now - the EU’s climate policy chief, as he announced a raft of sometimes bold plans to cut Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2030.
Europe was the first continent to declare its policy to reach net-zero by 2050, albeit only last year. Timmermans, a Dutch diplomat and labour party politician who served as foreign minister from 2012-14, is now Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, the man tasked with shepherding a new legislative framework to curb emissions. His announcement in Brussels earlier this month signalled the start of a long looming contest between Eurocrats and national parliaments.
“Fit for 55”, as the new measures are known, …