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:
- The phasing out of subsidies to fossil fuels,
- A structural reform of the EU ETS,
- Measures to be proposed by the European Commission in order to develop Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies, and
- Mandatory impact assessments on the effect of climate policies on competitiveness (see the Impact Assessment of A Policy Framework 2020-2030).
As far as the ETS reform is concerned, the framework proposes a market reserve mechanism to start in 2021 and that will be the subject of a European legislative proposal. It will aim to deal with the excess of allowances and ensure a minimum flexibility of the carbon market. It also encompasses a detailed analysis of energy price and costs, on which policy making and projections are based.
The White Paper was presented by the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, at a press conference yesterday, while the European Parliament is still discussing the Green Paper of last March 2013. MEPs are expected to finalise discussions and vote in plenary session on the draft report on 4th-6th February 2014.
In view of the expected publication of the 2030 Framework, the Centre of European Policy Studies organised a workshop gathering representatives from the EU, the AMPERE project and a wide variety of stakeholders, ahead of the publication of the package. Industry shows support to the emission reduction target, but questioned the sustainability of the policies, and most importantly its impact on industrial capacity to invest. Efficient climate and energy policies need to take their direct and prospected economic context that presides over industry activities and investments.