European Council Conclusions on 2030 Climate and Energy Policy Framework

The ball is still rolling

The EU Council Conclusions on 2030 Climate and Energy Policy Framework were delivered shortly after midnight, adopted and they seem to be encouraging for European industrial competitiveness and Energy Security. All depends how these decisions will be understood and implemented in the future.

Climate and Energy

The targets for Climate and Energy 2030 are very ambitious: a reduction of CO2 emissions of 40% (compared to 1990), at least, and a reduction of 43%, and 30%. respectively, in ETS and non-ETS, by 2030 (compared to 2005).
An annual decrease of CO2 emissions of 2.2.% after 2020 is accepted as well. One can say that nothing has been changed in comparison to the original proposal. This is not so. Officially, the ambitious figures are still the same, but as a matter of fact, there are a lot of exceptions. At this stage, some of them should be mentioned.

1.    Free allocations of CO2 for coal- fired power plants . We do not know which coal power plants they concern.
2.    Extension of the carbon leakage concept after 2020. This is very encouraging, but we do not know what principles will be applied, who has a chance to be on the list (e.g. steel, chemical, refinery or other industries) and for how long.
3.    Acknowledging that each sector of the industry has to have its own benchmark for an emissions decrease, means that the concept of the same figure for different industrial sectors is no longer valid. We wait for detailed guidance.
4.    At least, it was noticed that some countries which are not as rich as others should have different treatment and relatively more funds should be directed to them to help them in their investments, especially Member States with GDP per capita at 60% below the EU average.
5.    Industrial innovation will be encouraged.
6.    Underlining the role of the internal energy market and energy security.

This is not a full list, but it shows that compromises have been achieved.
As is always the case ’the devil is in the detail’ and we should observe how the EU will adopt the Conclusions and to what extent the compromises meant what the Prime Ministers had in mind.

We can say with a certain degree of satisfaction that many of the concerns expressed by CEEP (see CEEP’s Position Paper) on behalf of our members, as well as proposals and possible solutions to improve the competitiveness of the EU energy and energy-intensive sectors have been reflected to some extent in the Council’s decisions.


Federica Gagliardi, specialist, Central Europe Energy Partners