Part of Volt Europa's 5+1 political challenges
The western world is responsible for a large CO2 emissions and therefore we must also be at the forefront of the development of solutions.
Creating a global balance is about looking at the circular economy and the way we use resources.
At European level, we can structure production opportunities to increase the transition to a circular economy, which is precisely looking at solving our global resource consumption.
We have seen these changes before on a smaller scale, but for the sake of the future, these changes must be scaled up.
We want to introduce a European coal tax and stop all support for the development of fossil fuels.
We have a role to play in the world and our purchases must reflect the price that the next generation has to pay. Taxes drive behavior and by putting a tax on CO2 we will see a greater focus on buying CO2-friendly and thus driving society in a more sustainable direction. We are aware that this cannot be done by one country alone, which is why we have both this proposal on our political program in the European Parliament and where Volt is running for local and national elections.
➢ Reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by at least 80% in 2030 compared to 2019 and by 100% in 2040, so that the EU becomes CO2-neutral and contributes a fair share to reaching 1.5 ° C heating in 2100 with a 66% chance.
➢ Implement measures that ensure and support a transformation both on a technological level and on a behavioral and structural side. Volt wants to drive a technological revolution while building on the contribution of every citizen who consumes in a more sustainable way.
➢ Develop and start implementing a long-term CO2 negativity strategy to succeed with the 2040 carbon neutrality milestone to create a buffer, in case other economies do not contribute their share and to reverse the harmful global warming in the long run. Carbon sink / carbon sequestration should be its main focus, both technical solutions such as Carbon Capture & Sequestration (CCS) and especially natural carbon sinks such as reconstruction and sustainable agriculture.
Climate change is the result of a massive market failure: social and ecological costs for third parties are not sufficiently reflected in market prices. Those who have not signed the treaties do not provide figures on their emissions and this gives a false picture.
The cornerstone of Volt's climate policy is therefore a comprehensive, ambitious, predictable and credible CO2 pricing regime enforced by a strong EU.
We will cover 100% of emissions with two efficient, market-based and technology-neutral instruments:
1) An enlarged EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to cover the vast majority of sectors under one universal cap
2) A uniform price, supplemented by a carbon tax for such emissions, where it is the more efficient or effective instrument.
In order to prevent carbon leakage to other countries and ensure a level playing field for all companies, cross-border carbon adjustments must be implemented in order to reduce the level of carbon prices for imports and exports to and from the EU. Furthermore, Volt understands the social difficulty that a high carbon price can cause and therefore proposes a transparent redistribution of income combined with economically sound investments in green research and development (R&D) and infrastructure to finance the economic transition as soon as possible.
Volt does not see biofuels as a solution for widespread use, as long as large plantation schemes entail serious environmental risks such as deforestation and competition for food crops.
However, biofuels may be required for certain applications without alternatives with the same energy density.
Volt thus supports its sustainable use and corresponding research and development.
Volt will make major investments in infrastructure, introduce new rules, taxes and subsidies and evoke behavioral changes to have a decarbonized transport system. We will therefore shift public spending from airports and roads towards a sustainable transport infrastructure.
Create sustainable urban infrastructures, create green zones in cities over 50,000 people, expand the city's public transport options, create bicycle-friendly zones and cycle paths, promote sharing solutions and introduce free public parking spaces for electric cars.
Stop the use of fossil fuels in road vehicles by 2035. This does not prohibit the sale or use of internal combustion engines as long as they burn biofuel or visual fuel.
Transport systems in Europe need to be modernized, both for short and long distances. This includes the promotion of innovative toll solutions as well as the development of cohesive charging station networks throughout Europe and within cities.
Promote smart dynamic road traffic management infrastructure to reduce congestion and enforce reduced speed limits.
Volt proposes significant EU-wide investments and subsidies at all levels of rail transport, such as integrated long-distance and medium-distance rail networks for goods and passengers, a European High Speed Rail (HSR) network, and regional and local public transport.
European harmonization should be sought, in particular with regard to the European Railway Control System (ETCS), the height of the platform, the gauge and the approval of railway vehicles.
Volt requires the expansion and improvement of national and international night train services as a convenient alternative to air travel.
See our 2019 proposal together with Back on Track: https://back-on-track.eu/volt-europa
Abolish tax exemptions for aviation fuel. The tax applies to all European flights, but includes discounts for the largest residents of remote European regions. Instead, focus on achieving zero emissions in European international and domestic flights by 2040 through the Advisory Committee on Aviation (ACARE).
Aim for zero emissions in European waters by 2035. Volt will create public-private partnerships for technological development and implementation. We need to keep research in motion so that the industry can buy better ships.
Volt will include all EU waters as an emission control area. Additional measures may follow as a 30% speed reduction for high-emission garden emissions.
Invest in transparent, publicly available monitoring and reporting of CO2 emissions for all ships over 5000 Gigatons in European waters and pressure on cost-effective techniques to include smaller ships.
We must develop green gardens in the cities and convert our pig production to vegetable production. In 2017, pig production accounted for only ⅓ of what the pharmaceutical industry stood for and the world is demanding more sustainable solutions. We want to see Danish solutions implemented in other countries where primary production can be improved and then we want to see a more sustainable agricultural culture in Denmark focusing on ecology, re-wilding and biodiversity.
Our ability to extract sustainable energy from wind and solar has to be accompanied to a much greater extent by an energy grid that can transport it and battery technology that can store it. Our CO2 reduction is dependent on fossil fuel runoff and the development of CO2-friendly technologies.
Nuclear energy is a powerful, stable source of electricity that has one of the lowest CO2 emissions, along with wind and other renewable sources.
"IPCC Working Group III – Mitigation of Climate Change, Annex II Metrics and Methodology - Table A.III.2 (Emissions of selected electricity supply technologies (gCO 2eq/kWh))”
We are facing a predominant threat from the increasing CO2 emissions and therefore we propose the following:
Only when the electricity sector is co-neutral will we begin decommissioning current types of nuclear reactors. During the transition to renewable energy, existing nuclear power plants will operate for their planned lifetime, although life extensions of existing reactors are not permitted..
Volt supports the development of new types of nuclear fission reactors (eg Molten Salt and small modular reactors) - we do this on the assumption that they are safer than today's types and if required for the energy transition. As we saw in Finland, citizens will be heard and involved in new locations.
Of course, Volt also supports research into these advanced nuclear fission and fusion concepts, as well as the use of research reactors and nuclear radioisotopes for other low-risk applications such as medicine, food sterilization and space exploration.
With 36% of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions, of which 13% on-site, the construction sector (residential and commercial) is one of the biggest causes of emissions.
Construction and buildings account for 1/2 of all extracted material, 1/2 of all energy consumption, 1/3 of all water consumption and 1/3 of all waste in the EU. While there are technical solutions for a building mass of almost zero emissions, legal, economic and behavioral barriers need to be addressed.
Volt therefore proposes three changes (life cycle perspective):
- Replacement of oil and gas boiler with district heating powered by electric heating, heat pumps, solar heating.
- Ensure energy efficiency (insulation, energy-saving appliances, behavior change, etc.)
- Use of sustainable building materials in the construction of new or renovation of existing buildings
Volt will help the construction sector change from limited fossil-based resources to renewable, zero-waste materials.
Volt therefore supports measures that accelerate this transition through modernized legislation and advocates a stronger, pan-European and more innovative policy.
Set standards for zero-energy building (nZEB) for all new buildings in the EU by 2030 and net zero emissions for all buildings (incl. Existing building sock) by 203. Volt wants to support sustainable and resource-efficient building and living research and enforce European legislation on "Clean energy for all Europeans" by restoring and modernizing older buildings and designing new buildings to save energy and water - with a strong focus on conservation rules so we do not lose Europe's cultural heritage in the process.
Mapping of buildings using ongoing data on energy performance allows for agreement on the importance of sustainable design and also provides access to accurate measurement of “Whole Life Carbon” in the building life cycle.
Innovative buildings to have a positive environmental impact that exceeds net zero targets. Innovate through knowledge transfer by bringing together design, technology and construction.
Engage citizens and architects to create awareness of the possibilities of combining modern design with architectural preservation.
Develop a digital design platform where architects and decision makers work together to tackle the consequences of large-scale climate change with community involvement
Sustainable water use and biodiversity are incorporated into the planning approval process for land development. (to be further developed).
More ways to reach Global Balance?
- Be more active and open to fair trade with African countries
- Strengthen plastic recycling and reduce plastic innovation
- Strengthen organizations that actively remove plastic from our beaches, rivers and harbors.
- Wean off Danish agriculture for CAP support from the EU.
- Refugees should not go home but be given a home, stability and security.
- Strengthen and tighten the rules so as not to throw food away and enable local agreements with stores. If there is food that can be eaten and thrown out - and there are people who are hungry, then the two must meet.
- Animal welfare must not be ignored and if animals are to be slaughtered, they must be unconscious.