On 14 July 2021, the European Commission adopted a series of legislative proposals setting out how it intends to achieve climate neutrality in the EU by 2050, including the intermediate target of an at least 55% net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The package proposes to revise several pieces of EU climate legislation, including the Emissions Trading System (ETS), Effort Sharing Regulation, transport and land use legislation, setting out in real terms the ways in which the Commission intends to reach EU climate targets under the European Green Deal.
In response to the latest developments of the ETS, the European Associations (HOTREC, IAAPA, IRU and RuralTour) representing the tourism and commercial road transport sectors call on the European Parliament to make the extension of the ETS to road transport and buildings (ETS II) a fair and fit-for-purpose instrument for both businesses and private buildings/private transport.
While they support the EU initiative to establish a separate ETS for buildings and road transport, which would overall be preferable to different national schemes, providing it is designed in an inclusive and fit-for-purpose way, they highlight the fact that, under the changes proposed by the ENVI committee, private buildings and private transport would not be included in the new ETS before 2029 when their potential inclusion would have to be subject to a full impact assessment and a new legislative proposal. This change would translate into an unsustainable burden placed on a small portion of actors, in particular as the ENVI compromise also leaves open the possibility to add national taxation and charges for carbon emissions on top of the new EU ETS charge.
The Tourism sector, including its road transport segment, was the hardest hit by the Covid crisis. It now faces a rise of electricity and gas prices in the EU, causing an increase in the inflation rate, further reflected in an increase in the costs of goods and services in the sectors covered by the new ETS system.HOTREC, IAAPA, IRU and RuralTour
As it stands, the private tourism sector will not be able to cope with the extra costs, while bankruptcies will continue to proliferate. They underline that a fit for purpose ETS needs a universal set price for CO2 to foster the greening of both vehicles and buildings and a one-stop-shop for pricing CO2 emissions.
At the same time, they advocate that ETS revenues are used to support the green transition through support to technologies that contribute to energy, resource savings and pollution reduction. Both companies, especially SME’s, and private householders should have easy access to the Social Climate Fund for the necessary infrastructural changes to be implemented.
As such, they count on the European Parliament’s support to mitigate the costs and spread the burden between businesses and private buildings / private transport in an equative manner. This will help the tourism sector adapt and use sustainable alternatives to mitigate emissions in the near future.