< /p> Meeting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 14 March 2023.
Strasbourg – Today, the European Parliament (EP) approved a pair of legal regulations of the Fit for 55 climate package. Among other things, they will tighten the requirements placed on member states regarding the reduction of emissions in sectors that are not yet included in the system of emission allowances. The rate of reduction will be proportional to the performance of the economies of individual states, in the case of the Czech Republic it is 26 percent. The second standard concerns strengthening the ability of the landscape to absorb carbon emissions. New buildings in the EU should be emission-free from 2028, MEPs agreed.
The so-called regulation on sharing efforts in reducing emissions was adopted by MEPs with a majority of 486 to 132 votes. The EP representative agreed on the wording of the standard with the member states represented in the EU Council with the Czech presidency last November. Before the law enters into force, it must also be approved by the Council.
The measure obliges the Czech Republic to reduce emissions by 26 percent from road transport, building heating, agriculture, small industrial operations and waste management by 2030 compared to 2005. The Czech Republic figures with 26 percent among the countries of the eastern wing of the union with the highest commitments, while Bulgaria has the lowest with ten percent, and Germany and the Scandinavian countries have the highest with 50 percent.
EPP legislative rapporteur Jessica Polfjärd said after the vote that “the legislation represents a huge step forward in meeting the EU's climate goals”. “We are sending a clear signal that the EU's climate protection program is competitive and effective and can serve as a model for the rest of the world,” said the MEP.
The Fit for 55 climate package, which includes the standards adopted today, aims reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 and make Europe the first climate-neutral continent in the world by 2050.
The second measure approved today sets higher targets for so-called carbon sinks, i.e. carbon emissions that are capable of being absorbed by forests, soil and other landscape elements. The more ambitious goal of the member states and the EP is for the country to be able to absorb the equivalent of 310 million tons of CO2 in 2030.
According to the agreement, each country will have its own binding target. For the Czech Republic, according to the Ministry of the Environment, the key in this regard is the restoration of forests, which, due to the bark beetle calamity, began to emit CO2 instead of absorbing it as before.
Deputies today adopted the regulation on forestry and land management by a majority of 479 to 132 votes, and just as in the case of the regulation on effort sharing, the norm was already approved by the member states at the end of last year during the Czech presidency of the EU Council.
New buildings in The EU should be emission-free from 2028, MEPs agreed
MEPs today adopted a proposal for new measures to support the renovation of buildings in the European Union. According to the proposal, all new buildings should be emission-free from 2028, and some existing buildings would have to undergo renovation. The final wording of the legislation is not yet in question, the European Parliament (EP) will discuss this with the member states.
The proposed revision of the directive on the energy performance of buildings aims to reduce emissions, create new jobs, limit energy dependence on of Russian fossil fuels and reduce energy bills. However, critics dismiss the proposal as unacceptable for small businesses and families. The buildings are in the EU bloc according to the European Commission(EC) responsible for 40 percent of energy consumption and 36 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
If the member states represented in the EU Council and Parliament agree on the current wording, all new buildings will have to have zero emissions from 2028 and be equipped with solar technologies if technically feasible and economically appropriate. There are already exceptions in the wording of the proposal, for example for historical buildings.
According to the proposal, residential buildings should reach at least energy efficiency class E by 2030 and then class D by 2033, on a scale from A to G, with G indicating the 15% of the most energy-intensive buildings in a given member state. This part of the measure also provides for certain exceptions and postponed deadlines.
According to critics, the law does not take sufficient account of smaller businesses and families. “Many families have, for example, only one real estate, and this green policy would mean investing tens of thousands of euros in renovations for them…we are unequivocally against this European madness,” Isabella Tovaglieriová from the Eurosceptic and nationalist faction Identity and Democracy declared on Monday.
Czech MEP Ondřej Kovařík was more moderate in his criticism, who welcomed that the directive would make the operation of administrative buildings of larger companies more efficient, which, according to him, would lead to a reduction in emissions. “However, it is unacceptable that we apply the same strict rules to family housing. This could lead to a sharp increase in rents and housing prices, which we cannot afford in the current situation,” Kovařík said.
She described it as “unrealistic” measures and the Czech EP vice-president Dita Charanzová. “(The measure) lacks a financial solution to support the installation of solar panels and also lacks alternative sources in the event of the cancellation of heating with fossil fuels. We must tell ourselves what is really realistic so that we do not burden citizens financially with our decisions,” Charanzová said in a statement.
The rapporteur for the law, MEP Ciarán Cuffe from the Green faction, on the other hand, in his opening remarks to Monday's debate on the proposal, argued that the agreement “will save us up to 50 million cubic meters of gas per year”.