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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

European Commission registers ‘Save the Planet’ citizens’ initiative

The European Commission has officially registered a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) titled ‘Save the Planet by Shifting Taxation from Labour to Greenhouse Gas Emissions’. This signifies a major step towards combatting climate change through innovative economic strategies.

The organizers of this initiative are calling on the Commission to bolster the Fit for 55 Package and the EU’s carbon pricing framework. Key recommendations include expediting the phasing out of free allowances and implementing an uncapped carbon price to achieve emission reduction goals. Additionally, they advocate for redistributing a significant portion of carbon pricing revenues to low-income households, thereby reinforcing the EU’s Social Climate Fund. The initiative also advocates for the establishment of a ‘Climate Club’ where participating countries adopt robust carbon pricing measures, with an emphasis on redistributing revenues to support low-income households, as stated in a press release by the commission.

The decision to register the initiative is purely legal and does not reflect the Commission’s final position on the proposals or potential actions it may take if the initiative gains adequate support. Registration confirms that the initiative meets the formal conditions outlined in relevant legislation, rendering it legally permissible. However, the Commission has not yet analyzed the substance of the proposals.

Following registration, the organizers have six months to commence signature collection. If the initiative garners one million statements of support within one year, meeting minimum thresholds in at least seven different member states, the Commission will be obligated to respond. Subsequently, it will determine whether or not to act on the request and will be required to justify its decision.

If successful, this initiative could precipitate significant changes in how the EU addresses carbon pricing and climate action, potentially alleviating the economic burden on labor while providing financial assistance to those most impacted by these changes. The proposal aims to establish a fairer and more effective system for emissions reduction and climate change mitigation.

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