The European Parliament took important steps at the plenary session in Strasbourg to meet the Paris climate goals. Several laws have been passed that should reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent.
Laws have also been passed against the import of products that have not been produced according to EU environmental criteria.
One of the bills adopted is against large-scale industrial deforestation, not only in Europe, but especially in the jungles of Asia and South America. This applies not only to wood products, but also to products that are produced on the open-cut wood. Until now, maize production for animal feed raw material has been left out.
“Forests are still being cleared and degraded at an alarming rate. That is why it is very important to make all imports deforestation-free as soon as possible,” said MEP Anja Hazekamp (PvdD). The law includes a provision that within two years Europe may require more products to be 'deforestation-free'.
“But more is needed to stop global deforestation. If the 'Mercosur' trade deal with Latin America that is being prepared goes through, it will wipe out the gains against deforestation that this law aims to achieve in an instant,” warns Hazekamp.
The European Parliament also approved the CBAM proposal of the Dutch MEP Mohamed Chahim (PvdA). This should not be called an 'import tax' on the import of environmentally unfriendly products, but a price correction at the border. This prevents the EU producers from being squeezed out by cheaper imports. The CBAM will be introduced between 2026 and 2034.
There will also be a Social Climate Fund against energy poverty and mobility poverty. Vulnerable families, small businesses and road users who are severely affected can benefit from this. The subsidy fund is paid for by an additional levy on the sale of emission rights, up to an amount of 65 billion euros.
CDA MEP Esther de Lange is happy with the Social Climate Fund, but also foresees problems with it. “To address this, Member States and the EU must work together. The expenditure in the EU budget should be much more focused on real priorities, such as a fair climate transition for iedereen.'
Her PvdA colleague Mohammed Chahim is satisfied with the changes to the ETS. He warns, "Companies that don't make progress and have no intention of reducing carbon emissions have no future in the EU."