Sunday 23rd October 2016                 Change text size:

Coherent and strong laws needed to solve Energy Union puzzle

Eu flags by Sébastien Bertrand via flickr

The Energy Union package has not lived up to expectations to accelerate a shift to a fossil fuel free economy in the EU so far, according to Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe. While the project remains a puzzle, the EU needs strong and coherent legislative proposals, expected next year, to stay ahead of the game on climate action.

The European Commission released today its first State of the Energy Union report, accompanied by other documents, including guidance on the 2030 governance system and a progress report on the 20% energy savings target for 2020. The documents give an overview of the initiatives taken by the Commission under its flagship project of the Energy Union during the last nine months and present the way forward, focusing on proposals for new legislation expected next year.

The Energy Union has not yet delivered on its promise of guiding Europe’s transformation away from a fossil-fuel based economy – Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe said. The report does not provide clarity on how the current, inadequate climate and energy targets will be revised and strengthened. Such a gesture would have sent a clear signal of Europe’s leadership ahead of the climate summit in Paris.

On a positive note, the EU has confirmed that the Energy Union will be translated into a set of laws, which will be proposed next year to ensure all countries contribute to delivering the EU’s 2030 renewable energy and energy savings targets.

A strong legislative framework is the only way to ensure Europe meets and beats the weak targets put forward for 2030. The governance system for these targets cannot be limited to planning and reporting alone, as they will not make governments accountable for inaction – Trio added.

Moreover, the progress report towards the 2020 energy savings target also released by the European Commission today shows once again that strong climate and energy policies provide an essential contribution to the achievement of the EU targets. Member States need to scale up their efforts in order to ensure their full implementation.

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