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The Commission’s ‘Fit for 2030’ package must not hurt working-class families and vulnerable people but be a vehicle to combat inequalities. There is no climate justice without social justice.

The package consisting of 13 legislative proposals put forward by the Commission aims to align EU climate and energy policies and provide a roadmap for achieving a net 55% emissions reduction by 2030 to comply with the new climate law.

It will require drastic changes for people and businesses: how people commute, adjustments to their homes, new constraints for pollution by industry, changes to forest and land management, and more. Crucially, it determines who bears the costs for this major transition of the European economy.

The Left contends that this structural change is urgently needed to fight climate chaos but the burden must be shared fairly and sustained under the polluter pays principle. For MEP Silvia Modig (Vasemmistoliitto, Finland), the shift in the economy must come with robust social support:

“Fighting the climate crisis is an issue of social justice. We need structural reforms and EU funding so that the green transition does not punish those in a precarious situation, workers and low-income households, but instead creates jobs and a sustainable and greener life for all.

“The Fit for 2030 package is an important moment to deliver on the promises of the European Green Deal. There is no place for false climate solutions that are harmful to the climate, biodiversity and social justice.

“It is high time to align EU rules on energy production with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, Biodiversity Strategy and the Climate Law.”“Furthermore, Europe needs a renewable energy directive that listens to the science, not the lobbyists.”

The main vehicle for putting a price on pollution is the Emissions Trading System (ETS), a market-based mechanism that puts a price on each tonne of carbon emitted. Modig has doubts about its expansion under the proposals:

“We need a just transition, not just a transition. Emissions from road transportation must be reduced but expanding the ETS to this sector is a socially regressive tool which will hurt most the people already struggling to make ends meet.”

On the revision of the regulation on land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF), Modig called for an increase in carbon sinks:

“Carbon neutrality by 2050 depends both on emissions reduction and carbon sinks. We need a LULUCF regulation that enhances our carbon sinks, incentivises real emissions reduction in other sectors and supports our biodiversity goals instead of undermining them,” Modig concluded.

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