21 May 2021 – We had the pleasure of speaking to Andrea Salimbeni, researcher and representative from the Stop Global Warming campaign, about their petition for fixed carbon pricing in Europe. So why do we need a price on CO2? Can citizens like ourselves play a role in tackling climate change? Let’s hear what Andrea has to share with us.
StopGlobalWarming.Eu (https://www.stopglobalwarming.eu/) is a campaign to get the European Commission to propose an EU legislation that discourages the use of fossil fuels, encourages energy saving, and promotes the use of renewable energy, all with the goal to fight against global warming. The target is to get 1 million signatures by 22 July 2021 to petition for legislation on carbon pricing. Here’s a gist of their proposal:
- Fixing the price of CO2 at €50/ton until 2025 and at €100/ton from 2026 onwards
- Implementing a border tax to ensure competitiveness
- Reallocating tax burden away from ordinary folks and towards the actual polluters
How is carbon pricing any different from the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), you may ask? Well, the ETS is (as the name suggests) a trading system, which means that the price of CO2 will fluctuate depending on demand and supply. You can think of the stock market for a loose comparison. This means that we won’t really know how much businesses are going to pay for their carbon emissions. Sometimes they pay more and sometimes they pay less. This is not necessarily a good thing for businesses either because their carbon costs are unpredictable. Another concern with the current ETS is that it is not being applied to all polluting industries, for example the aviation sector and waste incineration.
The discussion on a campaign like this brings us to another relevant topic: the role of citizens in a democracy. Our role doesn’t simply end with simply voting someone to represent us; we must also make sure that our representatives know what we think and what we want. Policy is not only influenced by lobbyists. We, as citizens, can make proposals too and that’s what Stop Global Warming is all about. The two keywords here are awareness and participation. What Stop Global Warming aims to achieve is to raise awareness of the urgency of climate change and open an avenue for people to participate in policy-making.
Stop Global Warming is a campaign under the ECI (European Citizens Initiative), a participatory democracy instrument that allows you to shape Europe by suggesting concrete legal changes. If 1,000,000 signatures can be collected within a year, the ECI will be presented to the European Commission and debated in the European Parliament.
You can sign the petition and be part of this movement at https://www.stopglobalwarming.eu/. Let’s get to 1,000,000 before 22 July 2021!
By Pongsin Thepruangchai