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SUSTAINABLE FUTURE WEEK – A SUMMIT FROM POLITICOLIVE
For years, politicians could talk safely about climate and energy targets. They were far enough in the future that it wouldn’t have an immediate impact on anyone’s life (or votes). But now those once-distant goals are going to happen very soon and that’s sparking an increasingly political reaction.
It’s all happening very fast. The last new combustion engine car will be sold in EU in only 11 years — that’s the blink of an eye for car company production cycles. It sparked a furious reaction from Germany as it tried to water down the 2035 phaseout. It’s not the only political backlash looming. The revamp of the Emissions Tradition System was passed despite fears it will spark a repeat of France’s Yellow Vests protests. Businesses worry that extending the ETS to buildings and transport could hurt economic growth and impact jobs — and politicians are listening.
The same applies to energy policies — the once comfortable view that the Continent could rely on natural gas and scorn nuclear as it made a gradual transition to renewables has been thrown out the window by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Now policy is being made on the fly as the bloc races to book more liquefied natural gas and France and its allies push a nuclear revival — all while balancing the bloc’s climate policy and a competitive challenge from China and the U.S.
From November 14 to 16, POLITICO Live is hosting its fifth annual Sustainability Future Week in Brussels where our reporters and editors will interview key politicians, scientists, campaigners and business executives to dig into the growing political tensions around the EU’s energy and climate policies.