Analytics, Ecology, Economics, EU – Baltic States, Modern EU

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 29.01.2020, 11:45

Energy policy and “green deal”: the EU and Baltic’s perspectives

Eugene Eteris, , LZA`s senior adviser, BC International Editor, Copenhagen, 06.12.2019.Print version
The Commission’s strategy for greener and cleaner EU (the so-called “European Green Deal”) is, generally, aimed at making the member states’ economies more resilient and competitive. A vital part of “green transition” is energy policy: according to Kadri Simson, the new energy Commissioner, the energy transition includes three priorities: the people, the national economies and the global partners.

At the first meeting of the EU states’ energy ministers at the Council’s configuration, Estonian Commissioner revealed her vision on energy “share” in the “green transition”. She insisted that there should be at least 3 aspects involved in such transition reflecting major aspects in the member states’ changing energy policies.


Three pillars

The first pillar, as the Commissioner mentioned, was “the people”, meaning that achieving the European goal of turning “climate-neutral” by 2050 shall be within the “the tangible benefits for consumers”: i.e. having affordable, secure and clean energy. 


As practical steps in towards that goal, the Commissioner suggests creating “open, integrated and well-functioning energy markets” in the member states. For example, the member states shall address such issues as energy security and focusing on energy efficiency both in the construction sector and in other national policy development areas. Thus, the industrial sectors shall use clean energy technologies to support industrial competitiveness.


The Commission is going to assist the states in these directions to promote “green climate transition”; from the side of the EU institutions, there would be a team of the Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Commissioner Elisa Ferreira (cohesion and reforms Commissioner) to draft a “just transition mechanism” that will support the member states, as well as people and regions, in an effective and targeted way.

 

The second pillar includes cutting all harmful emissions in a faster and comprehensive mode. The incentive is quite urgent as the energy sector's contribution to the health of people in the member states is quite damaging. The Commission President has already announced the Union’s next year comprehensive plan to reduce emissions to over 50 per cent by 2030.

Energy sector in the states will play a key role in reaching the target, in particular through more energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, strengthening contribution of offshore wind energy and pushing industries to further cost-effective decarbonisation by using synergies across the different sectors. Besides, the states shall be driven towards using “clean gases”, i.e. biogas and hydrogen making important contribution to “smart sector integration”.

 

The third pillar is about energy issues with the EU neighbour states and partners in the task of reducing global pollution: already at present the EU member states account for less than 10 per cent of global emissions.


However, to tackle global pollution some concentrated and common efforts of states are needed. In this sense, the energy sector also plays a vital role as energy is one of the most traded commodities among the EU states and globally.


Therefore, the EU institutions and the member states have to intensify their efforts in external energy relations. For example, the Commissioner noted, the EU intended to develop a “green agenda” for the Western Balkans and place a greater emphasis on cooperation with Africa, in particular the Southern states. The main adequate instrumental toll in this regard would be the member states’ national energy and climate plans, which would help the EU to reach the “green deal” targets.


General reference: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/SPEECH_19_6680

 






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