Today, the 10th February 2014 the Commission is Presenting the Impact Assessment related to the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework Communication to Council Environment Experts at a Working Party on the Environment.
As a next step in the process of validating the goals set within the Communication, environment ministers are expected to discuss the Communication at the Environment Council of 3 March 2014. Energy ministers are expected to discuss the Communication at the Energy Council of 4 March 2014. Heads of State and government are expected to discuss the initiative at the European Council of 20-21 March 2014. Council Conclusions are expected to be adopted at the Energy Council of 13 June 2014.
The European Commission (DG Climate Action) released its Policy Framework for Climate and Energy 2020-2030 on 22nd January 2014. Based on the Green Paper published last March 2013, the package establishes the climate and energy binding targets as follows:
- A 40% target for greenhouse gas emissions reduction (compared to that of 1990),
- A minimum 27% target for renewable energy sources' (RES) share in the EU energy mix, and
- A 40% target for energy efficiency.
The framework further specifies that options to achieve the 27% RES target will be left to the discretion of national governments and not be coordinated through EU legislation.
Also, a new governance framework will be established that will rely on national plans for 'competitive, secure and sustainable energy'. With that regard, the European Commission will provide a guidance, setting a comon approach for all Member States, while respecting their specificities and preferences.
In addition to those recommendations, the 2030 policy commends:
On 20th November 2013, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament signed into law the Decision on a 7th EU Environment Action Programme, which will guide EU policy action on environment and climate policy for the upcoming seven years. The 7th Environment Action Programme (EAP) identifies nine priority objectives for the period up to 2020, among which te following:
- "Protecting nature and strengthening ecological resilience;
- Boosting sustainable, resource-efficient, low-carbon growth; and
- Effectively addressing environment-related threats to health."
The EAP is confident that those objectives can be achieved through better implementation of EU environment law, as well as better integration of environmental requirements in other policies.
The Council COREPER will meet on 22nd November 2013 in order to discuss the mandate for the second trilogue in-between the Council of the EU, the European Parliament and the European Commission regarding the revision of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.
The European Parliament adopted a report in plenary vote on 8th October 2013, including amendments that foresee the extension of the scope of the Directive. As a result, industrial projects would now be required to carry out environmental impact assessments for exploration activities, all ‘open-air’ mining activities (regardless of the size), and demolition of projects. It also foresees the retroactive application of the revised directive.
Trilogues now aim to reach an agreement at first reading in-between the European Parliament and the Council. If they reach a compromise, the compromise text will be subject to a final vote in the European Parliament in early 2014.