Governments set to torpedo EU's standing on climate and energy

Europe's renewable energy industry is being threatened by national governments © WWFBrussels, Belgium - Friday 15 December

EU ministers will meet on Monday 18 December to finalise their position on key climate and energy legislation to 2030. Laws on renewable energy, governance (how Member States should plan and report on energy and climate change) and the internal market for electricity are on the table. However, EU Member States appear ready to block ambition and thwart progress on nearly every issue.

Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF European Policy Office said:
"Why are national governments moving in the opposite direction from their citizens, who time and again have shown their support for renewable energy and climate action? If they do not drastically improve their positions, the EU could face years of stagnation on renewables, and get stuck with a creaking power market that does not meet consumers' needs."

"Member States must use the European Parliament's more ambitious proposals as a benchmark, and bring Europe back in line with our Paris Agreement pledges," added Lübbeke.

On renewable energy, Member States have made some improvements to the European Commission's proposals, for example adding more flexibility on support schemes. But the overall 27% target for 2030 implies a big slowdown in renewables deployment. Member States have also failed to exclude tree trunks and stumps from bioenergy subsidies, meaning more trees will be burnt and release carbon in the name of climate action.

To bring Europe in line with the Paris Agreement, the EU needs a 45% renewables target with binding national targets for 2030.

On governance, Member States are watering down the European Commission's proposals, allowing Member States to postpone deployment of renewable energy to the second half of the 2020s and deleting reporting requirements on biomass.

EU countries need a binding path to binding national renewables targets so they increase deployment consistently. National climate and energy plans for 2050 should be produced, and shorter-term plans based on them.

On market design, Member States are set to allow continued public support to coal power, despite the fact that it emits high levels of carbon and is incompatible with the Paris Agreement. Countries also seem unwilling to run their power markets more collaboratively, which will delay more renewables coming on line, and keep costs for consumers high.

All public subsidies should be stopped for coal and gas power, which emit carbon and cause climate change.

More information:

Media photo opportunity: EU at the energy crossroads
Monday 18th December, in front of the Justus-Lipsius Building,
Rue de la Loi 175, Brussels – 9:30-10:30 am CET.

A momentous crossroads will materialise in front of the Council building. Staged by Climate Action Network Europe, Friends of the Earth Europe, Greenpeace and WWF, the action will highlight the crunch decisions on clean energy laws facing European governments.


Sarah Azau
Senior Communications Officer
WWF European Policy Office
+32 473 573 137

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