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The subject for the second seminar for 2014 was be the EU Energy and Climate package that was considered by The European Council at its spring meeting on 20-21 March 2014.
The Commission’s proposal came out last month, with key announcements around the overall GHG target, renewables, and EU ETS reform:
- 2030 GHG target: 40% below 1990 levels, met through domestic measures alone (i.e. without offset credits). This would be the EU’s international offer for a global deal in Paris 2015. The Commission are not proposing a higher conditional target in the light of a global deal, but have left open the possibility of raising ambition in the light of other countries’ contributions.
- An EU-wide binding renewable energy target of at least 27% in 2030. But no binding national level commitments, so not clear how this would be enforced or delivered.
- EU ETS reform: The Commission has published a legislative proposal for a “market stability reserve”. This would be a rule-based system starting in 2021, with the aim of limiting build-up of surplus allowances and allowing adjustment in supply in response to economic shocks.
The European Parliament has just voted that this should be strengthened, in particular that there should be a binding renewable energy target of 30%, down to member state level (strongly opposed by UK) and an energy efficiency target of 40% improvement. The Council discussed it at their meeting on 20-21 March.
Peter Vis is Chef de Cabinet of Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action. Prior to that he worked in the Cabinet of Andris Piebalgs, Commissioner for Energy. He joined the European Commission in 1990, and since 1997 has been more specialised in environmental and energy issues, in particular climate change.