Paris Climate deal Current Affairs - 2019
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The European Parliament and the Council have struck a deal reduce average CO2 emissions compared with 2019 levels. The features of the deal are:
- To reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from new trucks and buses by 30 per cent by 2030.
- The deal proposes a binding CO2-reduction target for trucks at the EU-level for the first time and includes a clear stimulus for zero and low-emission trucks.
- Trucks account for almost one-quarter of the EU’s transport-related emissions and the EU did not have limits on emissions from heavy-duty vehicles till now.
The EU has the ambition of being climate-neutral from 2050. EU had agreed in December 2018 on targets for cutting emissions from cars and vans. The curbs on the transportation sector are expected to help the bloc meet its overall goal of reducing greenhouse gases by at least 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030 under the Paris climate accord.
The Members of the European Parliament are directly elected by voters in all Member States to represent people’s interests with regard to EU law-making and to make sure other EU institutions are working democratically. The Parliament acts as a co-legislator, sharing with the Council the power to adopt and amend legislative proposals and to decide on the EU budget.
The European Council brings together EU leaders to set the EU’s political agenda. The members of the European Council are Heads of state or government of EU countries, European Commission President, High Representative for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy.
The European Commission is the EU’s executive arm. It takes decisions on the Union’s political and strategic direction.
Tags: CO2 emissions • EU • European Commission • European Council • European Parliament
The protestors are referred to as Yellow Vests because they don the “Gilets Jaunes” (yellow vests), which the French drivers are required to carry in their cars. It is a leaderless movement which no reported structure or leadership to the movement.
Why are they protesting?
Though there is no consensus on the French media about why the yellow vests are protesting. Some report that the protesters are primarily angry about what they see as President Emmanuel Macron’s apparent indifference toward tough conditions for working people and for others the movement is evidence of a middle-class backlash. The increase of the taxes on the fuel provided an opportunity for the anger to outburst.
France Go Green Policy
The tax imposed by the government of France was in line with the pro-Green agenda espoused by Macron’s government. The government of France had already pledged to ban all gasoline-fueled cars by 2040.
Is this an anti-green movement?
US President Trump has linked the protests in France with Paris Climate deal. He said the protests are due to France’s commitment to the expensive and ridiculous Paris Climate deal. But the movement has avoided any explicit anti-Green stance and the Fuel taxes in France are not the highest in Europe and are actually lower than Germany.
The workers feel they are squeezed by the government as only 20 per cent of the tax actually goes toward supporting the country’s transition to cleaner energy.
The protestors see government as too technocratic and favouring the rich, ignoring the plight of the worker and the middle class. The rallying cry also includes an immediate increase in the minimum wage and pension benefits.
France U-turn on Tax Hike
The government of France has bowed down to the pressure and has suspended the proposed tax hike for six months. The government has even announced an immediate freeze on gas and electricity price.
The announcements have failed to satisfy the protestor’s anger. They have vowed to continue their protest campaign dismissing the steps taken by the government as insufficient.