The EU Climate and Energy Framework is based on substantial previous legislation, some of it incompletely transposed and ineffectively implemented.
EU leaders agreed already on 23 October 2014 the domestic 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target of at least 40% compared to 1990 together with the other main building blocks of the 2030 policy framework for climate and energy, as proposed by the European Commission in January 2014. This 2030 policy framework aims to make the European Union’s economy and energy system more competitive, secure and sustainable and also sets a target of at least 27% for renewable energy and energy savings by 2030.
When we look at all the countries in the EU we see that they all find enough excuses not to do too much themselves. Regulatory certainty for investors and a coordinated approach among Member States has to be ensured. The Union also has to put much more pressure to the United States of America and to China and India.
All economical thriving countries should know that a low-carbon economy is possible and the best for their future generations.
Bringing the Energy Union into being will require further legislation and rigorous implementation of it. A robust governance framework is vital and the most effective type of governance is where agreeing methods for determining and implementing the objective is seen as a joint enterprise involving all stakeholders.
The EESC therefore recommends that a structured all-stakeholder dialogue must be linked to the governance process. A clear political lead to establish and participate in such dialogue and engagement on energy transition issues by the EU’s legislative institutions should be articulated and developed as a matching and supporting process alongside the Energy Union. Primarily this should take the form of an independent and trusted European Energy and Climate Dialogue enabling a balanced representation of all stakeholders to exchange information, express views and influence policy-making on energy issues and consequently engage actively in the energy transition.
The 19th of May there will be a public hearing about the Roadmap for the global climate agreement in Paris. Lutz Ribbe, SDO President, Rapporteur for the EESC shall give the introductory remarks.
Delia Villagrasa, Permanent Representation of Luxembourg to the EU shall talk about “Ensuring transparent and inclusive negotiations” whilst Annabelle Jaeger, Committee of the Regions Member, and Rapporteur on “The Paris Protocol” shall discuss the role of municipalities and regions. Wendel Trio shall present the “Climate Action Network” (CAN) Europe.
It is good that we can see that several countries in the union are really looking for alternative energy sources. Wind, solar, hydro, tidal, geothermal, and biomass are looked at, but what I do find strange is that many inhabitants complain about the windmills but do not complain about the much more awful gsm-pylons. The public should also be made more aware of the necessity to use more renewables to meet its energy needs. The EU in any case wants to lower its dependence on imported fossil fuels and makes its energy production more sustainable. The renewable energy industry also drives technological innovation and employment across Europe.
The EU’s Renewable energy directive sets a binding target of 20% final energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020. To achieve this, EU countries have committed to reaching their own national renewables targets ranging from 10% in Malta to 49% in Sweden. They are also each required to have at least 10% of their transport fuels come from renewable sources by 2020.
All EU countries have adopted national renewable energy action plans showing what actions they intend to take to meet their renewables targets. These plans include sectorial targets for electricity, heating and cooling, and transport; planned policy measures; the different mix of renewables technologies they expect to employ; and the planned use of cooperation mechanisms.
The European Council endorsed the target of increasing the share of renewable energy to at least 27% of the EU’s energy consumption by 2030 which is binding at EU level.
Public interventions such as support schemes remain necessary to make certain renewable energy technologies competitive. To avoid distorting energy prices and the market however, these schemes should be time-limited and carefully designed. EU countries should take advantage of the renewable energy potential in other countries via cooperation mechanisms. This would keep costs low for consumers and boost investor confidence.
The 2030 framework as proposed by the Commission in January 2014 builds on the experience of, and lessons learnt from, the 2020 climate and energy framework. It also takes into account the longer term perspective set out by the Commission in 2011 in the Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050, the Energy Roadmap 2050 and the Transport White Paper. These documents reflect the EU’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050 as part of the effort needed from developed countries as a group.
To prepare for the 2030 framework, a Green Paper adopted by the Commission in March 2013 launched a public consultation on what the framework should contain. The public consultation ran until 2 July 2013.
In March 2015 the European Commission launched two parallel consultations on the development of 2030 climate and energy policies in the sectors not covered by the EU Emissions Trading System:
- Consultation on the preparation of a legislative proposal for the Effort Sharing Decision in a 2030 perspective.
This consultation addresses citizens, stakeholders and experts involved in national greenhouse gas mitigation measures under the current Effort Sharing Decision, covering buildings, transport, waste and service sectors.
- Consultation on the integration of agriculture, forestry and other land use into the 2030 EU climate and energy policy framework.
This consultation addresses citizens, stakeholders and experts in the fields of agriculture and forestry.
The consultations seek input on evaluation of current policies and the policy options to be assessed following the European Council’s endorsement of the climate and energy framework in October 2014.
The civil society expects that necessary ambitious, fair and binding decisions will be adopted in the form of a “universal deal”. EESC efforts are directed at integrating key civil society messages into the EU domestic climate and energy policy, as well as into the EU negotiating position in the global negotiations.
- 2030 framework for climate and energy policies
- European Council conclusions of 23 and 24 October 2014
Roadmap for the global climate agreement in Paris
19 May 2015, 9.30 to 13.00
EESC, Van Maerlant Building, 2 Rue Van Maerlant, Brussels
- Vatican official pays tribute to speech that helped give birth to European Union (onenewspage.us)
The European Union’s foreign policy chief said that she was confident Britain would remain within the bloc as it was in the interests of both the EU and Britain, which goes to the polls on Thursday.
- European Energy Policies Bought and Paid For (cleantechies.com)
According to several sources, oil giant company Shell bought the European energy policy to be as low as possible on renewable energy sources.
As a close examiner for the past decade of energy and climate policies for the European Union, I have been wondering why, oh, why did the EU backed up recently from its previously ambitious policies on climate change.
- EU to Require All New Cars be Equipped With Auto Emergency Call Systems (claimsjournal.com)
All new vehicles in the European Union will have to be fitted as of 2018 with a system that automatically calls the emergency services in case of an accident.
- Cameron readies for ‘tough’ EU renegotiation (timesofmalta.com)
British Prime Minister David Cameron said today his decisive election victory gave him the mandate to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the European Union.
- [Ticker] MEPs urge EU to earmark ‘soft power’ money on Russia (euobserver.com)
MEPs in the foreign affairs committee passed, by 53 votes to 10, a report by Lithuanian centre-right MEP Gabrielius Landsbergis urging EU institutions and member states to earmark funds for countering Russian propaganda and supporting opposition activists.
- France faces EU court over wastewater (energylivenews.com)
The European Commission is taking France to Court over poor wastewater treatment.
It said 17 locations are listed as not having wastewater treatment “up to EU standards”.
- EU executive body wants member states to rule on GM crop ban (mysanantonio.com)
The European Union started legislative work on Wednesday that would allow individual nations to ban the imports of genetically modified crops even if approved by the food safety authority of the 28-nation bloc.
Member states recently obtained such power when it came to the cultivation of genetically modified, or GM, crops.
Wednesday’s proposal by the EU Commission will go to the European Parliament and the member states for further discussion. Giving nations the possibility to opt out from EU laws goes counter to many EU initiatives, which traditionally seek a common stance on EU policies.
- Chinese accused of solar tax evasion (energylivenews.com)
European companies have accused the Chinese solar industry of tax evasion.
This could mean there are hundreds of millions of euros in lost EU import duties, according to European solar industry initiative EU ProSun.
The company has accused China of shipping solar modules and cells to third countries and importing them into the EU to avoid tariffs.
China has previously been legally threatened by EU ProSun and it has now made another official request to the European Commission to launch an investigation into solar imports from Taiwan and Malaysia.
This could result in anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on all solar imports from the two countries where the exporters cannot show they were produced locally.
- China: EU Should Make Rights a Priority on Visit (hrw.org)
European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini should publicly and privately express concerns about China’s deteriorating human rights environment, Human Rights Watch said in a letter today. Mogherini will visit China May 5-6 for a strategic dialogue.
“The EU has repeatedly committed itself to promoting human rights in all external actions and with strategic partners,” said Sophie Richardson, China director. “High Representative Mogherini should express serious concern about threats to basic human rights, both as a matter of principle and as a premise for closer ties.”
- Judy Asks: Is the EU Sleeping on the Western Balkans? (carnegieeurope.eu)
While the European Commission that entered office in November 2014 announced five years of enlargement consolidation, Macedonia has just been through five years of standstill—if not backsliding. The country’s naming dispute with Greece, which objects to Skopje’s use of the name Macedonia without a geographical qualifier, prevented it from formally advancing toward either EU or NATO membership.