The pedantic European Union(Katalin Pintér, 2020. január 25.)
The European Union is also a great emitter, its emission was 3rd biggest in 2018, but we have to recognize that the EU highly accomlish in the field of mitigation of climate change. This statement is somewhat contradictory but I hope it will be clear to the end of the post, how can I claim this.
Development of the policy
You could know the system of the European Union from history or geography lesson. Generally, there is simply few words about environmental policy, but it is not a recent one. The Union felt the need of the common environmental policy already in 1972. But it was raised to political level only by the Maastricht Treaty in 1992.
Action programmes are plans include goals and necessary steps. The first one is launched in 1973 and the current one is the 7th, which is called Living well, within the limits of our planet.
The emission trading system of the EU
The Cap-and-Trade system is already mentioned in previous posts. This system is based on the Kyoto Protocol. Factories can trade their emission in this system. If factory „A” exceeds its emission ceiling, it can buy the unused emission of factory „B”.
A Clean Planet for All
Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission set a target to the EU to achieve 100% emission reduction for the year 2050 compare to 1990. This is based ont he long-term strategy, a Clean Planet for All. This doesn’t mean reducing emission to 0, but being able to absorb the gas, which would be emitted (e.g. through afforestatoin).
The Arctic region – new EU policy agenda
Recognizing that the area is more exposed to the effects of climate change (and, of course, in some exchange for influence, but it is just politics) the Union supports researches and innovative investments, which contribute the sustainable development in the Arctic. And also cooperates with international forums such as the United Nations or teh Nordic Council.
Europe 2020 strategy
The strategy includes three environmental objectives: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20%, to increase the share of renewable energy by 20%, and to increase energy efficiency by 20%. The first of these is achieved, the other two approach the target value.
But how can it be achieved by the EU? As it isn’t a state, so its expenditures don’t consist the those items, which are found in states’ budget. While countries spend on education, health, military, diplomacy, etc., the Union’s budget lacks of it. In this way the Union can expend its own budget to other expenditures, for example to incrase its competitiveness, create cohesion, or even environmental sustainability. Of course, it is required that the EU doesn’t want to behave like a state. Because the primal goal of states is to gain more power than others (let’s bot assume that this was the case only in wartime). The simpliest way of it is to build a strong economy, which costs a lot of money. So it is obvious that because of these two cause (among others) a state will spend less for environment. In the current political situation it seems like an insoluble conflict.
Supported by the ÚNKP-19-2-SZTE-102 New National Excellence Program of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology.