Posted on 18 May 2017
Commenting on the draft European Parliament report on Energy Union Governance, Alex Mason, Senior Policy Officer at WWF European Policy Office said:
“It’s good to see that MEPs are taking the Paris Agreement seriously, and trying to give the wings of ambition and the teeth of binding targets to the Commission’s rather lacklustre governance proposal.
The rapporteurs have also had the foresight to point out that it makes no sense for Member States to produce their short term 2030 plans before their long term strategies.
But if the EU is to live up to its Paris commitments we should be aiming to reach net-zero emissions well before 2050, so further work is needed.”
Green MEPs Claude Turmes and Michèle Rivasi, rapporteurs for the ITRE and ENVI committees respectively, have just made public their joint report on the European Commission’s proposed Energy Union Governance Regulation.
The Commission’s proposed Regulation, released late last year, brings together in one place a wide range of existing planning and reporting rules (for example on GHG emissions, renewable energy and energy efficiency) and should help Member States take a consistent, joined-up approach to energy and climate change. The Commission’s proposal requires Member States to produce detailed plans for 2030 and a longer term strategy to 2070, and also includes mechanisms to ensure that EU 2030 targets on renewable energy and energy efficiency are collectively met.
The main problem with the Commission’s governance proposal is that it takes little account of the Paris Agreement – and instead sticks rigidly to the now obsolete European Council conclusions from 2014. Turmes and Rivasi have made a bold attempt to correct this, by adding some of the missing pieces and trying to create an energy and climate governance regime fit for the challenges ahead.
In particular they have included:
- A target to achieve a 100% renewable and highly energy efficient economy, also by 2050 the latest
- A 45% renewable energy target for 2030 (instead of the Commission’s proposed 27%)
- A 40% energy efficiency target for 2030 (instead of the Commission’s proposed 30%)
- National binding targets for renewables and energy efficiency for 2030
- Reinforced provisions on Member State long term strategies, and a requirement that they focus on 2050 and be produced in parallel with the shorter term 2030 plans rather than after them. Stronger rules on public and stakeholder engagement.
It is now over to the MEPs to table amendments to strengthen this report even further – for example on including further detailed guidance on what Member States need to cover in their long-term strategies. The report will then be discussed in Committee on 20-21 June and there will be a Committee vote in October.
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