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Economic growth cannot be carried by a fossil fuel energy mix, according to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
“A growth model centered on fossil fuels is simply obsolete,” von der Leyen said on Monday at an event in Brussels designed to speak about coordinating economic development with environmental goals, according to Reuters.
Von der Leyen added that the EU’s Green Deal transition had a goal of creating “a different growth model that is sustainable far into the future.” That EU Green Deal has a grand plan to cut emissions by more than half by 2030 on the bloc’s way towards reaching an ambitious net-zero goal by 2050. While there is no other interim benchmark goal, the bloc is trying to implement another midpoint target for 2040, which the block would be legally required to hit.
According to Reuters, one of the highlights of Monday’s conference that was cheered on by von der Leyen was a controversial 1972 MIT-derived Limits to Growth report that discussed a computer simulation of a world destabilized by material consumption with finite resources supply.
Just a couple of weeks ago, the European Union finalized the approval of a carbon tax reform that would see polluting industries face higher costs for continuing to generate emissions. It also incentivized the switch to wind and solar.
That tax reform extends the EU’s carbon permit regime to even more industries than before, including air and maritime transport and would look to reduce carbon permits and even phase them out by 2034. Within four years, the carbon permitting reform would extend even further to emissions from cars and buildings.
Von der Leyen has been a champion of the green deal and the EU’s hopes of becoming a leader when it comes to the energy transition, although her zeal for the movement began prior to the pandemic and prior to the war in Ukraine, which has shifted focus away from the energy transition and towards energy security.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.