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Setting out its roadmap for Europe's energy transition, the European Commission (EC) says it will propose to  extend European emissions trading to the maritime sector and will also ‘look closely’ at current tax exemptions, including for aviation and marine fuels, and ‘at how best to close any loopholes’.

Achieving the current 2030 climate and energy targets is estimated to require €260 billion of additional annual investment, and the Commission said yesterday (11 December) that it in early 2020 it will present a Sustainable Europe Investment Plan to help meet investment needs.

At least 25% of the EU’s long-term budget should be dedicated to climate action and the EC said that the European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide further support. For the private sector to contribute to financing the green transition, the EC will present a Green Financing Strategy in 2020.

By summer next year, the Commission will also present an impact assessed plan to increase the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets for 2030 ‘to at least 50% and towards 55% compared with 1990 levels in a responsible way’.

The Green Deal also highlighted that transport accounts for 25% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions, and to achieve climate neutrality, a 90% reduction in transport emissions is needed by 2050.

The EC said that, as a matter of priority, a substantial part of the 75% of inland freight currently carried by road should shift onto rail and inland waterways. As such, the Commission said that it will propose increasing the capacity of railways and inland waterways by 2021.

The EU should ramp up the production and deployment of sustainable alternative transport fuels, said the EC. In addition to its proposal to extend emissions trading to the maritime sector, the Commission said it will ‘take action in relation to maritime transport, including to regulate access of the most polluting ships to EU ports and to oblige docked ships to use shore-side electricity.’

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