Ahead of the European Council’s discussion on 25 May about the new climate and energy legislation (so called Fit for 55 Package), European businesses, investor groups, local and regional authorities and NGOs published a joint letter to list their expectations. They called upon EU decision makers to ensure that the upgraded climate and energy legislation increases the EU’s climate ambition to the highest possible level, while supporting a green, territorially balanced and socially fair transition in all regions.

Signed by 50 organisations, the joint letter highlights that “If the European Green Deal is the EU’s growth strategy, the new climate and energy legislation should be its engine”. Based on this principle, the letter calls upon the EU Heads of State to further step up the EU’s climate action by expanding the scope of the EU 2030 target. It also urges EU decision makers to strengthen the Emission Trading System and to maintain and increase nationally binding targets under the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) covering emissions from road transport, buildings and agriculture and waste.

Finally, the letter reminds the importance of increasing targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency in line with higher climate ambition and ensuring that they are binding, and concludes by highlighting the need to have full synergy between climate and energy legislation and other EU targets, policies and measures.

Stakeholders representing over 2.700 cities, 330 regions, investors with over €37tn in assets, more than 1.100 companies and 390 NGOs, emphasise the importance of creating synergy between the “Fit for 55” Package and national, local and regional EU funding opportunities in order to send a strong signal that EU funds will support the implementation of the EU’s enhanced climate objectives.

Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said: “This letter must be a wake up call for EU leaders that no other option than a strong and well-designed climate and energy legislation under the “Fit for 55” Package will be accepted by both the people and the economic actors of Europe.

At the European Council meeting on 25 May, European leaders must commit to delivering robust, ambitious and inclusive climate and energy policies.”

Sophie Punte, Managing Director of Policy, We Mean Business said: “More than 1,400 businesses have committed to align their emissions reductions with climate science through science-based targets. These businesses are looking to governments for climate ambition and policy certainty to support business action. The EU has a unique opportunity now to make sure the “Fit for 55″ Package does just that.”

Emmanuelle Pinault, Director of City Diplomacy at C40 Cities said: “The review of EU climate and energy legislation being undertaken as part of the Fit for 55 package offers an opportunity to ensure that new regulations help cities thrive. Home to 75% of the EU population, cities are essential to delivering the EU Green Deal. Without compact, green and connected cities we cannot achieve the vision of a green, inclusive, climate-neutral Europe, nor ensure a green and just recovery.”

Ursula Woodburn, Head of EU Relations, Corporate Leaders Group Europe said: “The sustained climate leadership demonstrated by the EU has been supported by European business and finance leaders who know the only viable economic future that can deliver prosperity and wellbeing is one that stabilises the climate. Cutting emissions deeply and rapidly must be central to any credible target and the wider recovery package that holds the Green Deal at its core.

Now the EU needs to deliver a well-thought through Fit for 55 Package of legislation that can deliver the action needed by 2030. This means strengthening ambition across the package and ensuring a predictable framework for businesses to invest in future growth and innovation and step up their climate ambition.”

Andreas Gürtler, Director of European Industrial Insulation Foundation added: “Binding targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency are one of the most important prerequisites to decarbonise EU industry as they will stimulate the immediate uptake of existing solutions and investments in innovative technologies.”

Wolfgang Teubner, ICLEI Regional Director for Europe said: “A strong “Fit for 55” Package has to combine clear and stable national regulatory frameworks with continuous support and direct access to funding for local governments. This is key for sending a clear message to markets about the race to climate neutrality and for enabling local and regional governments to translate the EU Green Deal and climate targets into place-based solutions via Local Green Deals and Climate Pacts that meet local priorities and secure the widespread societal support needed for a rapid, inclusive and just transition.”

Nerea Ruiz Fuente, Policy Director at ECOS – Environmental Coalition on Standards said: “For the EU to make real progress, the ‘Fit for 55’ package must be the glue that holds all the pieces together. To achieve our climate objectives, coherence is key. Each and every piece of European legislation must be ambitious and consistent with the EU’s climate goals – including the policies and underpinning standards that shape our energy system and needs, as well as the environmental requirements for products and services available in the Single Market”.

Richard Sjölund, CPMR Vice President for Climate and Energy said: “For the EU to achieve its climate ambition, the “Fit for 55” package must have a territorial approach promoting social and economic cohesion and empowering regions and their communities.

Our recent initiative, Regions Act!, is evidence of the contribution that CPMR Member Regions are making to the ecological transition. Regions are not only acting now for a climate neutral tomorrow, but also have a key role in ensuring that all territories – from urban to rural – can be part of the transition. Climate and energy legislation must recognise and support this to ensure that no one is left behind!”

Transport & Environment said: “A recent survey just showed that over two-thirds of EU citizens want their country’s national climate target raised. Binding targets are a key driver for national climate action like ending subsidies for diesel company cars and are widely supported by EU citizens. The European Commission should listen to citizens and finally make clear that the national targets are here to stay as one of the main pillars of the EU’s climate architecture.”

Michael Villa, Executive Director of smartEn adds: “The achievement of climate neutrality should not be a top-down imposition. The engagement and active participation of all European consumers are crucial. The ‘Fit for 55’ package will thus be fit for purpose if it activates the demand-side flexibility potential that lies in every building, car and company to support a more efficient and variable energy system.”

Pedro Dias, Secretary General of Solar Heat Europe, stated: “Binding targets are a proven instrument to drive energy transition across the EU. As such, 2030 targets should be in line with our common ambition for the climate, namely for renewable heating and cooling, an essential sector, ignored for too long, where a fast-paced transition is absolutely vital.”.

Mirjam Wolfrum, Director Policy Engagement of CDP Europe, stated: “CDP Europe is delighted to see the introduction of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) – part of the EU’s ‘Fit-for-55’ package. By ensuring non-EU companies exporting into Europe pay the same carbon price as EU companies pay under the Emissions Trading System (ETS), it will be key in levelling up the decarbonization efforts of corporates globally. A carbon price on imported goods would incentivize EU and non-EU industries to decarbonize in line with the Paris Agreement and prepare for a global carbon price.”

ENDS
Contact: Goksen Sahin, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, goksen@caneurope.org

Notes to the Editor

The letter can be downloaded here : Coalition Letter_May 2021_final