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Before the official presentation of the European Green Deal on 11 December, EU Ministers for Energy meet on 4 December 2019, in Brussels. Ministers held an policy EU debate on smart sector integration and its role for the decarbonisation of the European economy, had an exchange of views on the energy policy priorities of the new Commission. Also, the Council held an exchange of views on the follow-up to the Commission Communication on the draft national energy and climate plans “United in delivering the Energy Union and climate action“.

Tackling climate change will require substantial reductions in carbon emissions across all sectors of the economy, alongside a rapid transition to a zero-carbon energy mix. To this end, European Union Member States are currently developing National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) that will need to be implemented in the coming years.

Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy, participated in the second session of the 3734th meeting of the Transport, Telecommunications, and Energy Council, in Brussels.

Kadri Simson 

New European Commissioner for energy takes office

Her objectives will be to focus on further developing an integrated, interconnected and properly functioning European energy market, in order to help keep prices down for consumers, help increase the use of clean energy and make energy supply more reliable and secure. This will be done whilst empowering people and regions, and supporting those most affected and most exposed by the transition to a cleaner and more efficient energy system.

To become the world’s first climate-neutral continent, Europe must reduce emissions further and faster, and by at least 50% for 2030. Given energy production and use accounts for 75% of the EU’s emissions, energy will have a central role to play in the European Green Deal, which, in the words of President von der Leyen, “is a must for the health of our planet and our people – and for our economy.”

Kadri Simson Commissioner for Energy

The European Green Deal is the EU’s new growth strategy. It will help cut emissions while creating jobs. It is a generational transition towards climate neutrality by mid-century. But it must serve the European people and must be just and inclusive. It will require massive investment in innovation, research, infrastructure, housing, and the training of people, and will entail large public and private investments at European and national level.

Commissioner Simson will be supported by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy in her work, and she will operate under the guidance of the Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans.

Press Conference on the EEA State of the Environment Report 

The Commission DGs are already working on a draft Communication on the European Green Deal which is expected to be published on 11 December.

The European Green Deal 

#EUGreenDeal Stay tuned

More than 90% of Europeans want the EU to combat climate change. Therefore, the first priority of the von der Leyen Commision will be, to make the EU the world’s first climate-neutral continent. Europe will be the global trailblazer turning this challenge into an opportunity, working towards a green and inclusive economy that improves people’s well-being. Benefits will be a cleaner and healthier planet, new sources of growth and competitiveness, development of new technologies, innovation and new business opportunities.

Putting 2050 climate neutrality into law and increasing our climate ambition for 2030.

The Commission will propose the first European Climate Law putting 2050 climate neutrality objective into law by March 2020.

The Commission will present a comprehensive plan on how to increase the EU’s greenhouse gas emission reduction target for 2030 to at least 50% and towards 55% in a responsible way by October 2020. The Commission will review and potentially revise all relevant legislative measures to deliver on this renewed ambition.

Building a fairer society: A just transition initiative 
Mainstreaming sustainability with all our ways and means.

A green oath: ‘do no harm’  

  • Mobilising research and fostering innovation
  • Activating the potential of education for empowering citizens
  • Digitalisation as a driver of greater sustainability
  • A European Climate Pact involving allstakeholders
  • A new partnership between EU institutions and with Member States
  • Responsible business conduct and corporate social responsibility
  • Green Cities, rural areas and outermost regions
  • The EU as a Green globaltrailblazer

People, planet and partnerships for a Green Deal 

Empowering citizens! 

The first pillar is the people. We will not be able to achieve our goal of a climate-neutral Europe, unless we can show the tangible benefits that this creates for our consumers. Everyone should be able to benefit from affordable, secure and clean energy.

Cut emissions! 

The second pillar will be to cut emissions further and faster – the energy sector’s contribution to the health of our planet. I will attend the COP25 in Madrid next week to add my voice to those of my colleagues in encouraging the rest of the world to address climate change as seriously as the EU is – and in the energy sector in particular.

The President has announced that the Commission will present next year a comprehensive plan to reduce emissions towards 55% in a reasonable way by 2030. Energy will play a key role in this, in particular through more energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Global Partners! 

The third pillar is our partners. There is no better test case for our ambition to be a geopolitical Commission than the energy field. The EU accounts for only 9% of the global emissions. If we do not bring our strategic partners with us, our isolated effort will be in vain.

Moreover, energy is one of the most traded commodities for the EU. Thus, we should step up the way we conduct our external energy relations. I intend to develop a green agenda for the Western Balkans and place a greater emphasis on cooperation with Africa, in particular our Southern Neighbourhood.

Infographic – National energy and climate plans – Green Deal 

To ensure the EU meets its clean energy and climate targets, member states are preparing national energy and climate plans (NECPs).

4 key Green Deal EU-wide targets for 2030: 

  1. greenhouse gas emissions reduction
  2. more electricity interconnection
  3. 32% – minimum share of renewable energy
  4. 32,5% – minimum improvement in energy efficiency

They cover the five dimensions of the Energy Union:

  1. energy security
  2. internal energy market
  3. energy efficiency
  4. decarbonisation
  5. research, innovation and competitiveness

NECPs cover 10-year periods of Green Deal. The first one is 2021-2030. 

Timeline:

  • by 31/12/2018 – member states prepare draft NECPs
  • 18/06/2019 – European Commission published assessment
  • by 31/12/2019 – member states notify final NECPs
  • by 30/06/2024 – member states update NECPs
  • by 01/01/2029 – member states notify next NECPs

NECPs have the potential of turning the Paris Agreement into tangible actions, act as capital raising instruments and involve citizens and civil society in key issues of the climate transition that will affect us all.

To ensure that the measures put forward can count on public support, and to guarantee proper implementation, governments must engage in an active dialogue with all members of society, including local authorities, academia, civil society organisations, investors, trade unions and the general public.

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