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EU Agrees REPowerEU, Fit for 55 Measures

European policymakers have made steps to further the EU’s emissions reductions commitments and progress this week, with a series of agreements across the Commission, Council and Parliament. The European Commission has proposed temporary emergency rules to accelerate the deployment of renewable energies in response to the energy crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The proposal will simplify assessments of renewable energy projects and clarify the scope of nature protection rules to eliminate bottlenecks in the permit-granting progress for renewable energy projects. The European Council and Parliament have also reached a provisional political agreement on the Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) regulation, setting a target of removing 310 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2030. This could lead the EU to increase its 2030 decarbonisation target to 57% compared to 1990 levels compared to the current 55%. Binding targets will be set for all 27 EU members. Marian Jurečka, Czech Minister of the Environment, said: “The deal will contribute to better protection and management of land and forests across the EU and fully tap into the emissions removal potential. At the same time the deal ensures different circumstances in each member state are taken into account when setting further ambition towards the 2030 targets.” The EU Council and Parliament also provisionally agreed stronger emission reduction targets for member states under the Effort Sharing Regulation, which would set 40% emissions reduction targets (compared to 2005 levels) for sectors not covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS): road and domestic maritime transport, buildings, agriculture, waste, and small industries. The agreement will further allow member states to ‘bank and borrow’ up to 25% of their annual emission allocations between 2022-29, using them in subsequent years until 2030. Member states will also be permitted to use a limited number of credits generated by removals in the LULUCF sector to comply with their efforts under the Effort Sharing Regulation. Jurečka said: “This will allow the EU to show to the world that it seriously intends to reduce emissions in line with its commitments under the Paris Agreement of keeping global warming within safe levels. It is our responsibility to preserve our planet for all future generations.” 

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