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The EU Emission Trading System, the EU’s main mechanism to disincentivise CO2 emissions, seems not to have had the desired results. Major industrial groups, often with the support of their own governments, profit from systemic weaknesses while continuing to produce energy using fossil fuels.
The European Union wants to abandon coal by 2050, but this will require significant help from European banks, which still finance 26 per cent of all coal power plants in the world.
As a result of more stringent standards, recycling of plastic packaging is set to fall in the EU. Without better industrial capacity, the EU will not reach its 50% target in five years' time. And illegal exports are likely to increase.
Each year 500 000 Europeans die prematurely as a result of air pollution. Road transport alone causes 18 percent of air pollution.
Despite the Dieselgate scandal, diesel-fueled cars are still the most popular in Europe. A trend that is slowly changing, as governments and the public opinion are starting to grasp with their impact on public health.
Excess diesel emissions produce a tiny portion of harmful dusts. Yet, they cause dozens of deaths in Europe’s highly populated road traffic hotspots.
Despite the efforts of European countries, atmospheric pollution (fine particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and ozone in particular) continues to kill hundreds of thousands of people every year.
Many people claim they are flying less to protect the environment, but figures from 2018 say otherwise. The aviation industry is doing better than ever and its emissions have more than doubled since 1990.
The EU emissions trading system has reached its 2020 reduction target as early as 2017. But it still needs to fix one problem to be truly efficient.
The Integrated Carbon Observation System publishes reference data on greenhouse gas emissions.