Fuel price increases may jeopardize Ursula von der Leyen’s ‘Green Deal.’
According to sources, the EU’s centerpiece ‘European Green Deal’ could be jeopardized by growing energy prices.
Brussels has pledged a third of its €1.8 trillion (£1.54 trillion) coronavirus recovery plan to the agreement, in the interests of combating climate change and boosting economic growth.
Within the bloc, however, there are questions over whether Ursula von der Leyen’s “Green Deal” can be “sold politically” if gasoline prices continue to rise.
By 2050, the Commission President wants the EU to be carbon neutral.
Gas prices in Europe have risen by 250 percent since January, with the United Kingdom being particularly hard hit.
In order to get political concessions, Russia has been accused of restricting gas supplies to Europe.
German journalist Silke Wettach cautioned in an article for Wirtschaftswoche that rising gas prices are making it “much more difficult to find an agreement among EU member states on environmental policies.”
“It will be like budget debates, only much worse because everyone has to pay,” one official said.
According to the European Commission, 50 million homes in the EU are already living in fuel poverty.
There are concerns that any move to raise petrol prices on environmental grounds could spark a political reaction.
Eurelectric, the European group of electricity suppliers, warned last year that climate policies that raise the cost of fossil fuels will disproportionately affect the poor.
“There could be more yellow vests in the future,” the group predicted in a study.
This is a reference to the French gilets jaunes (yellow vest) movement, which erupted in 2018 in response to an eco-tax that raised the price of gasoline and diesel.
The yellow vest movement grew into a larger anti-establishment movement that held enormous, and at times violent, rallies across France.
Ms Wettach questioned whether the EU’s Green Deal can be “politically sold” if prices keep rising.
The EU pledged in July to reduce carbon emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.
Gas price hikes have hit Britain particularly hard, with numerous energy companies folding in the last week.
According to the BBC, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has been meeting with Ofgem, the industry regulator, on a daily basis.
Site that compares prices Consumers will see price increases, according to Uswitch.
“Rising wholesale costs are placing a lot of pressure on suppliers, which has a knock-on effect on the value of the deals on the market,” they said.
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