Climate justice NOW.

Today, Members of the European Parliament backed up the results of the EU’s negotiations on the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) and Social Climate Fund (SCF).

Climate crisis, money and emissions are all closely related. By 2030, the European Union wants to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 55 per cent compared to 1990. The programme to achieve this is called “Fit for 55” – but until now, the EU Member States only managed to cut emissions by roughly 30 per cent over the last 30 years.

From 2027, the EU will introduce a second emissions trading scheme for heating buildings and road transport. The rising prices will mainly affect low-income people, although they live relatively much more climate-friendly than the rich. A so-called Social Climate Fund is supposed to provide compensation.

MEP Silvia Modig (Finland, Vasemmistoliitto), the Left’s shadow rapporteur on the ETS in the lead Environment Committee, highlights the need to fix and expand emissions trading to achieve the 2030 emissions reduction target, but warns that extending it to buildings and transport will challenge social justice, hence the need for Member States to ensure that all citizens can cope.

Warning against making households pay for the ecological transition MEP Leila Chaibi (France, La France Insoumise), the Left’s shadow rapporteur for the Social Climate Fund, says: “Just because you make petrol more expensive doesn’t mean that Europeans will find the thousands of euros to buy an electric car. The Social Climate Fund is just a band-aid on a wooden leg.”

Co-chair of the Left, Martin Schirdewan, strongly criticises the extension of the Emission Trading System: “With today’s decision, the majority, which has a low carbon footprint, will pay for the rich and big industry with giant carbon footprints. The rich do not want to change their way of life, and corporations refuse to produce in a climate-friendly way. They are released from their social responsibility through small indulgence payments to do their share in climate protection.”

Climate policy that ignores social justice is just as irresponsible as denying the existence of climate change. We must address both the ecological crisis and the systemic injustices that worsen it.

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