By Samuele Furfari, Contrepoints
The European Commission adopted on July 14, 2021 a set of proposals to adapt EU policies on climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation. Its aim is to meet the target endorsed last December by the Council and Parliament of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.
It aims to be the “first continent” (!) to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. At a press conference with 7 Commissioners, 12 legislative proposals were presented, praising the never equaled enormity of the thousands of pages of texts intended to make it possible to transform in depth the economy and the society which is “fair, ecological and prosperous”.
Without restraint, the vice-president introduced the subject by playing on fear. One can imagine how much demagoguery would have been exploited if this presentation had taken place after the floods the next day.
PROPOSALS NOT RADICAL ENOUGH FOR THE GREEN
Since its publication, environmental NGOs have found fault because these proposals do not go far enough and not quickly enough. Some have complained about the favorable treatment that the Commission gives to the combustion of wood – pompously renamed bioenergy – in order to appease the Nordic countries which cannot rely on solar energy like those further south, but also because without the bioenergy which represents two thirds of renewable energies the European objective would be a total aberration.
Each industrial or transport lobby has found fault with the points which will strike them. For the record, the Swedish forestry lobby is contesting the measures to tax maritime transport, because it will make the transport of their timber more expensive. Because this legislative and fiscal set will affect all aspects of the economic world, but also every slightest gesture of European citizens, these are neither more nor less than 12 liberticidal texts.
We learned in high school that energy is the same physical concept as work, that is, the movement of a force (a weight) over a distance. As a result, everything we do in life – absolutely everything – needs energy. These measures proposed by the Commission will therefore impact everyone.
We understand that we are going to have to pay dearly for these measures which are in no way economic since otherwise it would not have been necessary to legislate. Let us take just one example: that of renewable energies that the Commission wants to increase in 2030 – in 9 years – to 40% of final energy consumed, compared to the current 15.8%, according to the latest Eurostat data.
THE INSUSTAINABLE CHALLENGE OF RENEWABLES
It will be observed in passing that the only energies accepted by environmentalists (wind and solar) represent 1/5 of renewable energies. We measure the challenge. But above all, we realize the extent of the manipulation by all those who bluntly claim that renewable energies are economical.
But then, why should the European Commission publish a text of 469 pages to force their production? All this will only be possible by making energy dear and scarce, which is the opposite of the objective behind the creation of the European Communities which wanted “abundant and cheap energy” (Messina, 1955).
The Commission is aware of the social implications of fiscal measures which are essential to force the implementation of non-economic measures. This is why they also proposed a new Social Climate Fund to allocate specific means to Member States to help people finance their investments in renovation, new heating and cooling systems and a cleaner mobility.
The Social Climate Fund would be financed by the Union budget, endowed with 72.2 billion euros in funding for the period 2025-2032, which will require a “targeted modification” of the hard-bargained multiannual financial framework at the end of the day. last year. So we’re going to open Pandora’s Box. They also ask member states to contribute as much from their budgets.
The Hungarian government has already indicated that it will veto these measures. It has the right to do so with regard to fiscal measures. Indeed, Article 194.3 of the Lisbon Treaty calls for unanimity for measures “essentially of a fiscal nature”.
This is precisely the case for several of the texts proposed by the Commission. Lawyers from the three main EU institutions will have to decide, but no doubt it will end up in the European Court. It will take years and of course the 2030 target cannot be achieved.
One can also wonder if all its measures are not contrary to article 194.2 of the treaty which safeguards “the right of a Member State to determine the conditions of exploitation of its energy resources, its choice between different sources of energy. and the general structure of its energy supply ”.
The Renewable Energy Directive is careful not to say which renewable energies to produce or use, that would be illegal. But all of the measures proposed on July 14 indirectly impact the energy choices of states. The case of Poland is an example: this country, where 72% of its electricity comes from its national coal, has agreed to reduce this percentage, convinced by the generous European social endowment.
But switching from coal to natural gas to produce electricity is one thing, taxing home heating as proposed by the European Commission is another. Banning thermal cars, of which Poland is a huge component producer, will not be accepted so easily, especially since components for electric vehicles will mainly be imported from China.
All the more so because in order not to offend Germany – but also out of the conviction of some of its most active Commissioners in this field – the European Commission does not dare to mention nuclear power in this whole package.
It cannot prohibit it but does nothing to help it as it does with renewable energies when this energy not only does not produce CO2 (it avoids the emission of 311 Mt or 11% of the total emissions of the energy sector), but unlike renewable ones, it is neither intermittent nor variable and does not need legislative constraints to be produced.
Several measures concern local authorities such as the imposition of renovation of public buildings and management of forests for energy purposes. Lawyers may need to check whether these measures are compatible with the treaty, in particular Article 192.
In any case, all of this reinforces the fears that we had already raised last year about the incompatibility of the Green Pact with the energy charter treaty which protects investments in fossil fuels for another 20 years. even if a party leaves this international treaty.
With the support of the media and environmental NGOs, the Commission is trying to force its way. Governments will react. The population even more. The yellow vests will be insufficient, the entire wardrobe will be yellow. We know the story of the frog, which is immersed in gradually heated water and which ends up being boiled without noticing it.
The European population, constantly frightened by the apocalyptic forecasts of environmental NGOs and politicians seeking popular support, ignore the terrible consequences of climate policies.
THE PRETEXT OF THE PANDEMIC?
We naively accepted everything when global emissions have increased by 58% since the adoption of the United Nations climate change convention and China increases its CO2 emissions by 70% on average every year (over 10 years) of those issued by France in a single year. Are politicians taking advantage of the deprivation of liberty decreed to face the pandemic in order to impose on the population this new wave of constraints?
Like the frog, are we going to jump out of the already very hot European climate change pot that is destroying what we have built so well since 1950? We need the EU, but for prosperity and innovation, not laws and taxes.
Contrepoints (France) is an online journal that covers current affairs from a liberated angle.