To reach its climate target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, the EU is currently discussing an ambitious revamp of its climate and energy legislation: the Fit for 55 Package. The overall benefit for EU societies of tackling climate change is clear.
Mitigation policies do however have distributive consequences and they risk, if ill conceived, to disproportionately weigh on vulnerable citizens or leave workers in carbon intensive industries behind. This risk should not prevent policymakers from taking ambitious action to fight climate change.
Against this background, public authorities have a crucial role to play in shaping public policies to ensure that vulnerable citizens not only do not see their living standards reduced, but even end up with improved well-being by the implementation of climate transition policies.
There are many opportunities to do so. Revamping the fiscal system towards a stronger application of the polluters pay principle by ending fossil fuel subsidies and the introduction or increase of a carbon price can be implemented in a progressive manner if revenues are redistributed to the benefit of households. Well-being and social equality can also be enhanced through well-designed climate policies. We will present recommendations on how to do so during the Think2030 conference in a dedicated paper with inputs and discussion from experts.
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