EU Citizens To Pay For CO2 Emissions

Monday, December 19, 2022 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , ,

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

BRUSSELS (Worthy News) – The European Union decided Sunday that its residents will be forced to pay for their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions through natural gas bills and at gas stations while companies receive fewer free pollution vouchers.

EU governments and lawmakers reached the CO2 tax deal Sunday as part of the 27-nation bloc’s green deal, despite concerns that mounting inflation already increased poverty among households.

Yet, EU representatives said consumers would only pay for CO2 emissions starting from 2027, giving preparation time to households already suffering from skyrocketing price hikes linked to green policies and the war in Ukraine.

The EU also agreed to push European industries and energy companies to cut their emissions by speeding up the phase-out of free pollution vouchers. Doing so makes each ton of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere more expensive for polluters.

For instance, a polluting coal-fired power station must have emission allowances known as ETS for CO2 emissions. Every year, Brussels spends less of these allowances to ensure that emissions go down. Due to scarcity, they are becoming more and more expensive.

The EU’s executive European Commission said the measure would require European industries to reduce their emissions by 62 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels, compared to a target of 43 percent under the previous rules.

Brussels will also reduce and introduce a CO2 tax on foreign companies that want to import products that “don’t meet climate-protection standards.” That would prevent industries from leaving the EU to cheaper, less climate change-conscious nations, such as China or India, policy supporters say.


European companies and other firms seeking access to the EU market of nearly 450 million consumers will have to comply with the so-called Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism.

However, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency calculated the CO2 tax for consumers would mean motorists facing a tax increase of up to 12-14 euro cents ($0.14) per liter. Other experts keep it to a dime. The household natural gas bill may go up by 10 euro cents per cubic meter, according to estimates.

“Citizens in the EU must expect higher CO2 prices,” explained Michael Bloss, a Green lawmaker who took part in the final negotiations.

With the ongoing energy crisis, the new scheme could be delayed by a year until 2028 if energy prices remain “exceptionally high,” the EU’s European Parliament cautioned in a statement.

Most of this revenue will go back to the EU member states, but a quarter will be put into a new 86.7 billion euro Social Climate Fund to help the “most vulnerable” to insulate their homes or buy an electric car.

Wealthier nations such as the Netherlands will contribute more to the fund than they receive, but its distribution is due to be more favorable for Eastern European countries such as Bulgaria and Romania.

The move was condemned by critics who said that many products and utility bills have already become more expensive due to EU climate policies.

However, it was good news for European Commissioner Frans Timmermans, who wants CO2 emissions to be halved by 2030 compared to 1990. Critics called it “a Green Dream” that would further undermine the living standards of millions of people. But Timmermans says the measures are necessary to reach the EU’s “carbon neutrality” goals by 2050 and limit what he views as dangerous global warming.

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