The EU “Fit For 55” Plan Is a Flop
The 14th of July generally evokes the storming of the Bastille, but it may also be remembered in the future as the day the EU Commission launched the storming of European industry. Indeed, it was on July 14, 2021 that Brussels presented its insane plan to reduce CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030, called “Fit For 55”.
Two measures stand out: the mandating of zero emissions for new combustion engines by 2035 –which amounts to banning them, and a tariff on “climate hostile” imports, but the plan also includes the extension of the emissions trading system (ETS) to transportation.
Concerning the first measure, the German business daily Handelsblatt aptly drew a comparison between the EU Commission tactics and the way the FBI sent Al Capone to prison: The Chicago gangster was not indicted for his violent crimes, but for evading taxes on the income from his illegal activities, while the EU, without formally banning the internal combustion engine, found the way to terminate its existence.
The content of the plan was largely known in advance, but industry representatives and politicians are only now waking up to the reality of it. The European Automobile Manufactures Association (ACEA) argued that “banning a single technology is not a rational way forward at this stage.” The European Automobile Manufactures Association (ACEA) argued that “banning a single technology is not a rational way forward at this stage.” The head of the French Automotive Platform (PFA) Luc Chatel, who represents a sector employing 400,000, said the EU “is scrapping a hundred years of European know-how and choosing instead a technology in which the Chinese are 10 years ahead of us.” In Italy, Green Transition minister Roberto Cingolani stated that the EU Commission plan, as it now stands, means the extintion of Italy’s Motor Valley, where legendary sports cars are produced such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, as well as motorcycles such as Ducati.
Not just the automotive industry is threatened with extinction. While the Commission has opted for 100% electrical engines, it has not provided for an adequate boosting of electricity production.
The Fit For 55 plan is so insane that all factions in the European Parliament opposed it from different standpoints. Leaders of the S+D and Left factions called the plan socially inequal and raised doubts about the functioning of the proposed “Climate Social Fund” to compensate lower income families. People’s Party member Markus Pieper sees energyintense industrial sectors at risk and called the CO2 border tax “vague, wobbly and not thoroughly thought through”. He also questioned the feasibility of a 40% “renewables” target in the energy mix by 2030, laid out in the new EU guidelines (RED III). Although he finds it a good idea to end EU dependence on imported fossil fuels, 70% of so-called green hydrogen will have to be imported.
Marco Zanni, head of the Identity and Democracy (ID) group, twitted that the Fit For 55 Proposal certifies that “Green is more and more the rich man’s pastime, while the peons will foot the bill; the Commission is slave to [EU Deputy Commission Chairman] Frans Timmermans, as the package was presented despite strong reservations by many commissioners.” Even the Green faction is dissatisfied with “Fit For 55” — but on the grounds that it is not ambitious enough.