EU rapporteur recommends fines for states that fail to hit climate targets

Chimneys flues at a power station in Estonia.
Chimneys flues at a power station in Estonia. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Rapporteur of the European Parliament's climate targets effort sharing legislation Jessica Polfjärd would fine member states that fail to comply with targets by 2030. Some Estonian MEPs oppose the proposal.

One part of the wider EU climate package is the so-called effort sharing regulation. It assigns every member state a greenhouse gas emissions target until 2030, "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported.

The regulation's European Parliament rapporteur Jessica Polfjärd (Swedish Moderate Party) proposed fines for countries that fail to hit said targets last week. Fines would have to be paid for every ton of CO2 over the target.

"We can see that failure to hit 2030 targets would cause serious problems in terms of hitting the 2050 goal. That is why it would be good to tie performance to sanctions. However, I hope that we will find a solution and will not have to punish states. I hope countries will find the solutions needed to hit their targets," Polfjärd said.

Considering rapid CO2 quota price hikes, fines would hardly be popular among member states. "Aktuaalne kaamera" asked whether positive reinforcement could be employed instead.

"There are many positive sides to curbing emissions. We have seen several examples of the green turn already working and contributing to new economy in the European Union," Polfjärd said.

Because emissions targets are tied to the 1990 level, Estonia would not be looking at fines currently. Nevertheless, some Estonian MEPs are against the initiative.

"Fines do not help. They only create new tensions, cause people to fall out the result of which is not a united Europe. I think it serves no purpose. The important thing is for the Swedish Moderates to understand the situation in Poland, Estonia or Lithuania that have CO2-intensive industry," Isamaa MEP Riho Terras said.

"Punitive action is never a driving force. The only thing that can move us forward, talking about climate policy, is looking at scientific facts and discussing all the negative and positive sides," Jaak Madison (Conservative People's Party) said.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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