Priority 2 - Energy Union and Climate 

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Creating a European Energy Union

Pooling of resources

Connecting networks

Strengthening the negotiation position with non-EU countries

Diversifying energy sources

Leading role in the use of renewable energies

European Commission Work Program 2019

Paris Agreement

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Completing the Energy Union

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On the 17th of April 2019, the Directive (EU) 2019/692 amending Directive 2009/73 / EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas entered into force. The purpose of this Directive is to remove obstacles to the completion of the internal market in natural gas resulting from non-application of EU market rules on gas pipelines from third countries and third countries. With the amendments introduced by this Directive, the EU legislator wishes to ensure that the rules applicable to gas pipelines between two or more EU member states also apply to gas pipelines in the Union from third countries and to third countries. The amended directive is based on a bill proposed by the European Commission on the 8th of November 2017 (see ZEI Monitor 2017).

Future of Energy and Climate policy

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On the 2nd of July 2019, the Council of the European Union granted the European Commission the mandate to negotiate the modernisation of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECV). The mandate includes the negotiating directives. The aim of the modernised ECV, according to the Council, should be to facilitate sustainable investments between the ECV Contracting Parties in the field of energy by creating a coherent and timely, legally binding framework that provides legal certainty and guarantees a high degree of investment protection. The modernised ECV should clarify that the EU may require market operators from third countries operating in the internal market to comply with existing Union and member state legislation, including those concerning environmental protection and safety.

Energy efficiency targets

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European Commission Work Program 2018

Completing the Energy Union

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On the 11th of December 2018, three pieces of legislation went into effect that are associated with the goal of building an Energy Union and the giving the EU's response to climate change:

  1. the Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action, amending Regulations (EC) No 663/2009 and (EC) No 715/2009, Directives 94/22/EC, 98/70/EC, 2009/31/EC, 2009/73/EC, 2010/31/EU, 2012/27/EU and 2013/30/EU, Council Directives 2009/119/EC and (EU) 2015/652 and repealing Regulation (EU) No 525/2013
  2. the Directive (EU) 2018/2002 amending Directive 2012/27/EU on Energy Efficiency
  3. the Directive (EU) 2018/2001 on the Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources
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On the 30th of May 2018, three pieces of climate policy legislation went into effect:

  1. the Regulation on binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions by member states from 2021 to 2030 contributing to climate action to meet commitments under the Paris Agreement and amending Regulation (EU) No 525/2013
  2. the Regulation on the inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry in the 2030 climate and energy framework, and amending Regulation (EU) No 525/2013
    and Decision No 529/2013/EU
  3. the Directive amending Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings and Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency

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On the 25th of January 2018, EU member states agreed on the European Commission's proposal to invest 873 million euro in 17 key European energy infrastructure projects financed by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). Properly interconnected electricity lines and gas pipelines form the backbone of an integrated European energy market anchored on the principle of solidarity. (More)

European Commission Work Program 2017

Implementation of the Energy Union Strategy

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  • On the 24th of November 2017, the European Commission published its Third Report on the State of the Energy Union. The Report places its emphasis on Europe's transition to a low-carbon society. (More)
  • On the 8th of November 2017, the European Commission proposed a carbon emissions reduction target for cars and vans of 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2021 levels. (More)
  • On the 8th of November 2017, the European Commission proposed an amendment to the existing Gas Directive (2009/73/EC), extending the common EU gas rules (third-party access, tariff regulation, ownership unbundling and transparency) to import pipelines. (More)
  • On the 10th of October 2017, the European Commission issued a report on the sustainable use of the pesticides Directive. The report takes stock of the progress made by the EU member states in applying measures to reduce the risks and impacts of pesticides. It covers a wide range of topics such as aerial spraying, information to the public or training of professionals. The report indicates insufficient implementation of the Directive on the sustainable use of pesticides. (More)
  • On the 31th of May 2017, the European Commission took action to modernise European mobility and transport. The aim is to help the sector to remain competitive in a socially fair transition towards clean energy and digitalisation. 'Europe on the Move' is a wide-ranging set of initiatives that is intended to make traffic safer; encourage fairer road charging; reduce CO2 emissions, air pollution and congestion; cut red-tape for businesses. It is accompanied by a first series of 8 legislative initiatives specifically targeting road transport. (More)
  • On the 5th of April 2017, the Decision on new rules for increasing the transparency and compliance with EU law of intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) in the field of energy that EU countries sign with non-EU countries. These rules closely follow a proposal made by the European Commission in February 2016 (see ZEI Monitor for 2016). Under the new rules, EU member states have to submit draft IGAs with non-EU countries in the gas and oil sector to the Commission and notify of their intention to negotiate such agreements. (More)
  • On the 17th of February 2017 the EU member states agreed on the Commission's proposal to invest 444 million euro in priority European energy infrastructure projects. The 18 selected electricity, smart grids and gas projects shall contribute to achieving the Energy Union's strategic goals by connecting European energy networks, increasing the security of energy supply, and contributing to the sustainable development by integrating renewable energy sources across the EU. (More)
  • On the 3rd of February 2017, the European Commission put forward a Proposal for a Regulation to revise the EU Emission Trading System, making it fit for tackling CO2 emissions from aviation. The proposal amends Directive 2003/87/EC in order to continue current limitations of scope for aviation activities and to prepare to implement a global market - based measure from 2021. This comes following an agreement by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to stabilise international aviation emissions. The system will require airlines to monitor and report their annual CO2 emissions on international routes and offset those exceeding 2020 levels. (More)

European Commission Work Program 2016

Energy Union

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  • Connecting Europe Facility in Energy - Proposals for Investments in Energy Infrastrucutre: On the 19th of January 2016, the member states agreed on a Commission proposal to invest €217 million in key trans-European energy infrastructure projects. In total, 15 projects, helping to increase energy security in the EU, were selected following a call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), an EU funding programme for infrastructure. (More)
  • Legislative Proposals - Energy Security in Natural Gas and Oil:

    On the 16th of February 2016 the Commission presented a package of energy security measures as one of the cornerstones of the Energy Union strategy. The goal of these proposals is to bring more transparency to the European energy market and create more solidarity between the member states: (More)

    1. Proposal for a Regulation to safeguard security of gas supply

    2. Proposal for a Decision on establishing an information exchange mechanism with regard to intergovernmental agreements between member states and third countries

    3. Communication on an EU strategy for liquefied natural gas and gas storage

    4. Communication on an EU Strategy on Heating and Cooling

  • Connecting Europe Facility - Investments in Energy Infrastructure:  On the 15th of July 2016, the EU's member states agreed on the European Commission's proposal to invest €263 million in key European energy infrastructure projects. The lion's share of the investment will support the building of gas infrastructure in the Baltic Sea region as well as supporting the electricity sector across Europe. Nine projects were selected following a call for proposals under the EU funding support programme the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The selected priority projects aim to increase energy security, connect the isolated EU Member States to the wider European grid and contribute to the Energy Union objectives of affordable, secure and sustainable energy. (More)
  • Legislative Proposals - Binding national annual targets 2021-2030 to reduce CO emissions

    On the 20th of July 2016, the European Commission presented a package of measures to accelerate the transition to low-carbon emissions in all sectors of the economy in Europe. The proposals put forward present binding annual greenhouse gas emissions targets for member states from 2021-2030 for the transport, buildings, agriculture, waste, land-use and forestry sectors as contributors to EU climate action. (More)

    Proposal for a Regulation on binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions by member states from 2021 to 2030 to meet commitments under the Paris Agreement

    Proposal for a Regulation on the inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry into the 2030 climate and energy framework
  • On the 20th of July 2016, the Commission also presented a strategy on low-emission mobility setting the course for the development of EU-wide measures on low and zero-emission vehicles and alternative low-emissions fuels. This package measures is part and parcel of the "Energy Union and a forward-looking Climate Change policy". (More)
  • Communication on a European Strategy for Low-Emission Mobility
  • On the 10th of August 2016, the European Commission has allocated 187.5 million euro for the construction of the Balticconnector, the first Estonia-Finland gas pipeline. The Balticconnector is intended to end the gas isolation of Finland and develop the Baltic regional gas market, aiming to contribute to solidarity and the security of supply in the entire Baltic region. The EU’s financial support to the Balticconnector comes from the Connecting Europe Facility and corresponds to 75% of the needed funding. The pipeline is expected to be operational by December 2019. (More)
  • On the 30th of November 2016, the European Commission presented its "Winter Package" on energy policy in order to keep the EU competitive during the energy transition. The proposed measures are predominantly designed to modify existing energy law: (More)

    1. Proposal for a Regulation on an internal market for electricity

    2. Proposal for a Directive on common rules for the internal market in electricity

    3. Proposal for a Regulation establishing a European Union Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators

    4. Proposal for a Regulation on risk-preparedness in the electricity sector and repealing Directive 2005/89/EC

    5. Proposal for Directive amending Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency

    6. Proposal for a Directive amending Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings

    7. Proposal for a Directive on the Renewable Energy Directive

    8. Proposal for a Regulation on Energy Union governance

  • On the 7th of December 2016, negotiators of the European Parliament and the Council agreed on a Decision on establishing an information exchange mechanism with regard to intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) in the field of gas and oil between member states and third countries. Member states will have to ask the Commission for an ex-ante compatibility check of IGAs before concluding them. The initial Commission proposal for a review of the Intergovernmental Agreement Decision has been a key part of the "sustainable energy security package" proposed by the Commission in February 2016. (More)

European Commission Work Program 2015

Strategic Framework for Energy Union

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On the 25th of February 2015 the College of Commissioners approved the Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union. Setting out the detailed steps the Juncker Commission will take to achieve it including new legislation and funding. (More)

The European Council discussed the Framework Strategy on the 19th of March 2015 and agreed to establish an Energy Union. More detailed proposals will now be developed by the Commission in consultation with the other EU institutions. Legislative proposals are expected in early 2016. (More)

On the 8th of June 2015, the EU Commission and the Baltic Sea Region countries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding modernising and strengthening the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan. At the same time, 12 European countries signed a declaration for regional cooperation on security of electricity supply within the European internal market. (More)

On the 18th of November 2015, the EU Commission for the first time published the State of the Energy Union Report. It looks at the progress made over the last nine months and identifies key action areas for 2016 whilst providing policy conclusions at Member State, regional and European level. (More)

Fact Sheet

51

Paris Agreement

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On the 25th of February 2015 the College of Commissioners approved the European Commission Communication: The Paris Protocol – A Blueprint for tackling global climate change beyond 2020. The Communication sets out the EU vision for the global climate agreement in Paris in December 2015.(More)

On the 20th of October 2015, the EU Commission along with the European Environment Agency released the "Trends and Projections in Europe 2015" report which suggests that greenhouse gas emissions in Europe decreased by 23% between 1990 and 2014 and reached the lowest levels on record. (More)

On the 25th of November 2015, the European Commission presented its position and objectives ahead of the United Nations climate change conference (COP21) that takes place in Paris between the 30th of November and the 11th of December. (More)

The first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal was adopted on the 12th of December 2015. It sets out a global action plan to limit global warming to well below 2°C. The European Union played a key role in brokering this historic agreement during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference held in Paris. (More)

On the 4th of March 2016 the European Commission presented an assessment of the implications for the European Union of the new global climate agreement adopted in Paris in December 2015. The assessment looks at the next steps in the process and how the Paris Agreement will be implemented in the EU. Furthermore, European Commission will present during the next 12 months the key remaining legislative proposals to implement the EU 2030 climate & energy framework. (More)

On the 22th of April 2016 the EU signed the global Paris Climate Agreement. It will enter into force after ratification from at least 55 countries accounting together for at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions (More).

On the 10th of June 2016 the European Commission presented a proposal for the European Union to ratify the Paris Agreement. This proposal has been sent for approval to the European Parliament and the Council. The consent of European Parliament is required prior to the adoption of the decision by the Council. In parallel the EU Member States will ratify the Paris Agreement individually, in accordance with their national parliamentary processes. (More)

On the 4th of October 2016, the European Parliament approved the ratification of the Paris Agreement by the European Union. (More)

ZEI Releated Publications

EU@60 – Domestic Climate and Energy Possibilities for Securing Europe’s Energy Future

 Michael Amoah Awuah

ZEI Insights, Nr. 49 Mai 2017.

The EU Commission’s Energy Security Package: A Challenge To Russia’s Gas Dominance?

Robert Stüwe

ZEI Insights, Nr. 37 April 2016

Post-Lima headaches: Which role for the EU heading towards Paris?

Rike Sohn

ZEI Insights, Nr. 12 Februar 2015.

New Commission brings new energy policy approach

Nikola Veselinovic

ZEI Insights, Nr. 16 Februar 2015.

Archive

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