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EU climate law slammed for delaying action
However, the proposal has failed to improve the target for emissions cuts in 2030.

In addition, the draft law states that the commission will be in charge of reviewing the bloc's climate targets every five years - starting in 2023.

To do so, the commission will adopt so-called "delegated acts", which allow the EU's executive body to review the targets without having the full process of negotiations with the parliament and member states.
climate  climate_law  comitology 
15 days ago by henningninneh
Poland’s just transition bonus cut 50% under latest EU budget proposal – EURACTIV.com
But the rug has been pulled from under Warsaw’s feet, as Michel’s budget plan curtails funding by 50% for any country that has not yet signed up to the EU’s overall mid-century climate goal.

“For member states that have not yet committed to a national objective of climate neutrality by 2050, access to the Just Transition Fund will be limited to 50% of their national allocation,” Michel’s proposal explains.
climate  budget  side_payments 
6 weeks ago by henningninneh
The Brief – The curious case of the missing fund – EURACTIV.com
The Czechs, Hungarians and Poles want more money before committing to the deal and the latest €5-billion-strong Brussels buzzword, the Just Transition Fund, is in prime place to deliver that cash injection.

So why did explicit mention of the Fund, which was included in the Council’s draft conclusions, disappear from the final document?

***

An earlier version said the Council would “look forward to the Commission’s proposal on the Fund” but that was switched out before EU leaders even saw the text for more vague language on a “socially fair and just transition”.

That is essentially the same jargon we’ve been hearing for the last 12 months.

EU diplomats have revealed that it is all part of an ongoing negotiating strategy to prevent the climate talks from focusing too much on Poland’s needs, which are predominantly energy-related.

Warsaw’s reliance on coal power has become inextricably linked with the Fund, so public backing at this delicate stage would have risked leaving the Council with a weakened hand and emboldened Poland to hold out even longer for even more cash.

December’s EU summit is touted as the crunch moment for the agreement.

Portugal and Spain were among the countries to insist on the Fund’s removal from the text, partly because they have transition concerns of their own that are not energy-based, ranging from mining and agriculture to plastics production.
climate  green_deal  budget  side_payments 
6 weeks ago by henningninneh
National energy and climate plans will not meet targets, EU warns – EURACTIV.com
The European Commission warned EU countries today (18 June) that draft national plans for the coming decade are insufficient to achieve the bloc’s 2030 energy and climate targets. “Substantial” gaps have been identified on renewables and energy efficiency.
climate  governance 
6 weeks ago by henningninneh
EU springt Kohlegebieten bei - F.A.Z. Edition
Von den 100 Milliarden Euro soll Deutschland nach dem Kommissionsvorschlag ungefähr 13,4 Milliarden Euro bekommen. Polen allein bekäme mit 27,3 Milliarden Euro mehr als ein Viertel der Gesamtsumme. Grundsätzlich sollen alle Mitgliedstaaten Geld erhalten. Selbst für das kleine Luxemburg sind von den 7,5 Milliarden Euro noch 4 Millionen Euro vorgesehen.

Am meisten Geld hinter Deutschland und Polen sollen Rumänien (757 Millionen), Tschechien (581 Millionen), Bulgarien (458 Millionen) und Frankreich (402 Millionen) erhalten. Grundlage für die Verteilung ist eine Formel aus dem CO2-Ausstoß der Region, der Zahl der Arbeitsplätze in Kohlebergbau und Industrie, kombiniert mit dem Wohlstand des Landes. Zudem sollen die Hilfen auf 2 Milliarden Euro je Land begrenzt sein.
climate  green_deal  side_payments 
11 weeks ago by henningninneh
Austria's Kurz strikes coalition deal with Greens
The governments in Sweden, Finland, Lithuania and Luxembourg also include the Greens, but in a more junior role.

"On climate change we have possibly agreed on more than we could have imagined beforehand," Kogler said, adding that "Austria should become a European and international leader on climate change issues".
greens/efa  climate 
12 weeks ago by henningninneh
Is the Green Deal the real deal? | Transport & Environment
von der Leyen is gearing up for a very ambitious first 100 days. Is she living up to the high bar she and her Vice-President Frans Timmermans set themselves? Broadly, yes.
climate  environment  transport  green_deal 
december 2019 by henningninneh
Leaders to battle on climate target and money at summit
However, the three eastern European countries are worried that the €100bn investment proposed under EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen's Green Deal and one trillion euros leveraged by the European Investment Bank to help pay for the transition are too vague.
side_payments  climate  2019  budget 
december 2019 by henningninneh
EU Council chief takes over budget negotiations – EURACTIV.com
However, the negotiation on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) could be instrumental in bringing Warsaw on board in June.

Poland said it cannot commit to the climate goal just yet. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki defended that the cost of the transition will be higher for his country than others.

When addressing the press after the meeting, Morawiecki praised the creation of the Just Transition Fund, the details of which the Commission has not shared yet. “A fair share of this fund will be allocated to Poland for a fair transformation,” the Polish prime minister said.
budget  climate  side_payments  green_deal 
december 2019 by henningninneh
AS IT HAPPENED: EU leaders discuss budget, climate change – EURACTIV.com
“The objective has been accepted by all, it is in the text,” argued Macron while acknowledging that Warsaw clarified it is not ready to attain the goal.

“We have given them a delay until June as to make sure that at national level they can implement the necessary measures,” he explained, “If they wouldn’t agree to the objective, they wouldn’t have access to the solidarity mechanisms.”

“Europe will progress less when we do not have solidarity mechanisms,” French President added. 
climate  2019  side_payments 
december 2019 by henningninneh
MEPs declare 'climate emergency' in Europe
In a separate vote on Thursday, MEPs agreed on committing to cutting 55 percent of emissions by 2030, to become climate-neutral by 2050.

This means the UN secretary-general António Guterres, the EU parliament, the incoming president of the commission Ursula von der Leyen and several EU governments - France, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Luxembourg, Denmark, Latvia, and Finland - support that same target.

However, each political party in the European parliament has been advocating for a different emissions target during the last few months.
climate 
december 2019 by henningninneh
EU's new Green Deal slammed as 'half-baked' before launch
According to the leaked document, 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 percent and towards 55 percent" by October 2020.

Greenpeace wants 65, GUE/NGL 70.
climate  2030 
december 2019 by henningninneh
December 2019: Leaders agree 2050 climate neutrality - without Poland
"We acknowledge that the transition is a big one for Poland," said the president of the commission Ursula von der Leyen, adding that although Poland needs time to go through the details, this will not change the timeframe of the commission.

According to German chancellor Angela Merkel, "there is no division of Europe into different parts, but there is a member state that still needs a bit more time".

However, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban insisted that extensive "financial guarantees" are required for those countries whose energy production deeply depends on fossil-fuels.

"We cannot allow Brussels bureaucrats to have poor people and poor countries to pay the costs of the fight against climate change," he said.

EU countries tried to reach a deal on zero emissions by 2050 in June, but Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic held out, wanting to see financial incentives.
climate  side_payments  energy  nuclear_energy 
december 2019 by henningninneh
EU leaders claim victory on 2050 climate goal, despite Polish snub – EURACTIV.com
e-being.

At a meeting in Brussels, EU heads of state and government failed to come to a unanimous decision at the third time of asking, after summits earlier in the year also failed to yield a consensus.

“The European Council endorses the objective of achieving a climate-neutral EU by 2050, in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement,” the summit conclusions state.

But leaders had to accept that Poland refused to sign up to that objective.

“One member state, at this stage, cannot commit to implement this objective as far as it is concerned,” the conclusions add.

Yet, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen both insisted that an agreement on climate-neutrality had been brokered
climate  side_payments  differentiated_integration 
december 2019 by henningninneh
Timmermans warns on cost of inaction on climate
The Just Transition Fund would partly be used to soften the positions of Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, which have objected to the EU's 2050 climate-neutrality goal - the main pillar of the Green Deal.

However, the announcement of this fund, originally expected before the next week's EU summit, has been delayed until January.

As a result, it is unclear if all member states will be able to unanimously agree on the commitment of making the EU climate-neutral by 2050 during the EU council. But Timmermans seemed optimistic.
carbon_neutrality  climate  side_payments 
december 2019 by henningninneh
Auf dem Weg zur Klimaneutralität - F.A.Z. Edition
Estland hat schon die Lager gewechselt. Vor allem aber wackele Polen, heißt es in Diplomatenkreisen.

Entscheidend dafür dürfte nicht zuletzt sein, dass die Mitgliedstaaten in den Verhandlungen über den EU-Haushalt 2021 bis 2027 eine Idee von der Leyens aufgegriffen haben. So soll Staaten wie Polen oder Ungarn, die beim Klimaschutz noch viel aufzuholen haben, finanziell unter die Arme gegriffen werden. 
climate  carbon_neutrality  commission  side_payments 
december 2019 by henningninneh
EU legislators split over 2020 budget, risk climate funding delays – EURACTIV.com
Incoming EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen should take an extra month or two to negotiate a coalition agreement with the European Parliament, including a new finance-climate pact to support the energy transition, says Pierre Larrouturou, adding he will not vote for the new Commission without additional climate cash.
commission  investiture  side_payments  climate 
october 2019 by henningninneh
Poland wants fresh EU money to back climate neutrality goal – EURACTIV.com
Achieving climate neutrality requires “significantly larger” amounts of funding than what is currently on offer in the EU’s long-term budget proposal for 2021-2027, Warsaw said in a memo circulated ahead of an EU leaders’ summit opening on Thursday (17 October).

The Polish demands are spelled out in a “non-paper” circulated to EU leaders meeting in Brussels for a two-day summit beginning on Thursday.

Poland was one of four EU countries to block a deal on net-zero emissions at the last meeting of national leaders in June. And Warsaw has now clearly linked its backing for the 2050 climate goal to the budget negotiation.
climate  eastern_europe  side_payments 
october 2019 by henningninneh
Timmermans to end EU climate 'contradictions'
Timmermans is to take care of a "green deal" portfolio and to help make Europe climate-neutral - with net zero CO2 emissions - by 2050.

The Dutch politician had previously battled Hungary and Poland's judicial abuses in his post as EU rule of law commissioner.
climate  investiture  green_deal 
october 2019 by henningninneh
EU ministers fudge 2030 climate target lines – EURACTIV.com
Ten countries – Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta, Poland and Romania – blocked efforts to include more explicit language. Of those ten, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland are the last hold-outs on the 2050 deal.

One likely source of cash is the European Investment Bank (EIB), which is currently deciding on how to tweak its energy-lending policy. Under a draft proposal, the EU lender will finance up to 75% of projects submitted by poorer member states rather than the usual 50%.
climate  eastern_europe  side_payments 
october 2019 by henningninneh
Estonia joins EU’s climate-neutral club – EURACTIV.com
Estonia has joined a group of 24 member states in favour of an EU plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions drastically by 2050, leaving only the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland unconvinced.
climate  eastern_europe 
october 2019 by henningninneh
Ist das Klimapaket eine Mogelpackung?
Zur Schließung der verbleibenden Lücke werde der voraussichtlich 2021 startende nationale Emissionshandel aus Sicht der Umweltverbände aber nicht genügen. „Der homöopathische Einstieg in die CO2-Bepreisung von 10 Euro die Tonne CO2 wird keinerlei Lenkungswirkung entfalten“, kritisieren sie in einer gemeinsamen Stellungnahme – erst recht, weil der Zertifikatepreis später bei 60 Euro gedeckelt werden soll. Der Meinung ist auch Ottmar Edenhofer, Direktor am Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung und enger Berater der Bundesregierung.
climate 
september 2019 by henningninneh
Sorge vor dem Zorn an der Zapfsäule - F.A.Z. Edition
Ein CO2-Preis von rund 130 Euro pro Tonne, wie ihn etwa der Potsdamer Umweltökonom und Regierungsberater Ottmar Edenhofer bis 2030 verlangt hatte, stand deshalb in der Koalition überhaupt nicht zur Diskussion. Das wären rund 35 Cent Mehrkosten je Liter Benzin gewesen.
uno  climate 
september 2019 by henningninneh
EU to have third attempt at financing CO2 storage
The European Parliament is due to vote on legislation on Tuesday (6 February) which would set up a potentially multi-billion euro fund to support projects in the field of innovative renewable energy, carbon capture and storage (CCS), and recycling CO2 as a resource.

However, the final criteria of the fund will be decided by the European Commission, in a legal act which MEPs would only have the power to veto or rubber-stamp.
environment  climate  comitology 
march 2018 by henningninneh
Lower energy bills promised after EU buildings deal
EU negotiators agreed on Tuesday (19 December) that each member state should set up national plans to make buildings almost carbon neutral by 2050.

The new rules should also lead to lower energy bills, according to Estonia's economic affairs minister Kadri Simson. "Increasing energy-efficiency is a no-brainer: it's one of the cheapest and most effective ways of reducing our energy consumption and contributing to our climate goals," said Simson, whose country chaired the Council of the EU, where national governments meet.

"Considering how much energy is consumed in buildings, getting this element right is crucial," she added.

The European Commission has calculated that the building sector uses around 40 percent of the EU's energy. It estimated that energy savings can be made in 75 percent of buildings, but each year only between 0.4 percent and 1.2 percent of building stock undergoes renovations.

"By renovating and making them smart, we are catching several birds with one stone – the energy bills, people's health, and the environment," said EU commissioner for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic in a statement.

The details of the new EU directive were agreed by representatives of the commission, the council, and the European Parliament, although the final agreed text is not yet made public.

The council and parliament still need to approve the rules in a vote, which will be done in the new year.

As a result, national governments will have to draw up long-term renovation strategies for their building stock.

According to a council press statement the use of smart technologies in buildings is "encouraged", but apparently not made obligatory.

"Buildings would be required to be equipped with automation and control systems by 2025 only when considered technically and economically feasible," the council said.

Parking and charging
The 'energy performance of buildings directive', as the legislation is called, will also introduce some rules requiring additional charging points for electric cars to be built in non-residential buildings.

However, the requirements have been watered down significantly.

The commission had initially proposed that in new non-residential buildings – or old ones undergoing major renovations – with more than ten parking spaces, 10 percent of the parking spaces should have a charging station for electric cars.

The commission introduced this feature to help solve the 'chicken-egg' problem: when there are not enough charging stations, people will be reluctant to buy electric cars, which prevents the large-scale roll-out of charging stations.

Instead, the negotiators agreed that in those buildings, "at least one" charging station is built, if there are more than twenty parking spaces.

In addition, one in every five parking spaces should have the "ducting infrastructure to enable the installation of recharging points for electric vehicles".

These requirements will apply from 2025 onwards.

"I would have preferred to see a more ambitious commitment to e-vehicles charging points for non-residential buildings," said EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete in a statement.

Nevertheless, the commission embraced the compromise as "a step in the right direction".

Centre-left Finnish MEP Miapetra Kumpula-Natri was also involved in the negotiations.

"To bring down transport emissions we need electric cars," she said in a statement.

"With this directive we are building European infrastructure for e-cars in the most cost efficient way."

"I'm glad that the European Parliament obtained that the Member States will have to make sure that the national building stocks become nearly zero energy level by 2050," her Green colleague Florent Marcellesi, a Spanish MEP, told EUobserver in an e-mailed statement.

"The deal includes also policies and actions targeting worst performing buildings which will help to fight energy poverty. These are concrete measures allowing citizens to have a healthier buildings to live in,"said Marcellesi.
environment  climate  energy_efficiency  buildings  cars 
january 2018 by henningninneh
Environmentalists attack 'no ambition' EU climate bills
European energy ministers drew their battlelines on Monday (18 December) by adopting common positions on new climate bills which have thoroughly disappointed environmental lobby groups.

They stuck to targets that were agreed by their government leaders in October 2014. "Member states abandon pretence of climate ambition," one NGO, the World Wide Fund (WWF), headlined its reaction.

Ministers in the Council of the EU voted in Brussels on their amended versions of four complex legislative proposals, which can only become law after the council and the European Parliament thrash out a deal between them, something that is expected in the first half of next year.

The files are part of what energy commissioner Maros Sefcovic called a "mega package", when he presented the 1,000 pages worth of legal text in November 2016.

The legislative process seems to follow a familiar pattern, with the council changing the targets in the proposals to become less difficult or ambitious, or to favour the status quo, while MEPs have adopted positions, or are expected to, that contain more climate ambition than proposed by the European Commission.

Biofuels
The commission for example is proposing an overhaul of the EU's biofuels policy.

In the mid-2000s, the EU embraced such liquid fuels, based on crops, without distinction.

Gradually, the realisation dawned that food-based crops should not be used for fuel for cars, but by then EU policies had already helped create an industry on which jobs rely, and a subsequent powerful lobby.

The commission proposed that the target for food-based crops is lowered, from the already agreed seven-percent share of all transport in 2020, to 3.8 percent in 2030.

The council however agreed on Monday that the existing seven percent target "is maintained to provide certainty to investors," it said in a press release.

The commission had suggested that the so-called second generation of biofuels, which are considered to have less negative side-effects, should make up 6.8 percent of all transport fuels in 2030.

The council however said that this figure should be three percent.

"European energy ministers meeting in Brussels today agreed European drivers should be obliged to burn massive quantities of food crops in their fuel tanks until 2030," anti-poverty lobby group Oxfam International said in a statement.

"Despite burning food for fuel meaning taking it from the poorest and most vulnerable to food price shocks, the EU seems set on driving ahead with their destructive policy," it added.

Renewable energy
Ministers also adopted their red lines on what the EU's share of renewable energy in 2030 should be.

They stuck to the 27 percent target that was agreed by EU government leaders in October 2014 at a summit in Brussels.

However, in part because since then a global climate treaty has been adopted in Paris and costs have dropped, the EU commission has proposed that the renewables figure should be 30 percent.

At a press conference just after the meeting, EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said "the commission would have liked that today's council would have established a higher target for renewable energy".

MEPs want to go even further, and support a 35 percent target, guaranteeing haggling between the three sides when they meet for their backroom talks.

Ministers also stuck to a 27 percent "indicative" target in energy savings, meaning that by 2030 energy use in the EU should have become 27 percent more efficient.

MEPs want a 40 percent efficiency improvement.

Here too, the council referred to the 2014 deal at the EU summit as justification.

The agreement on climate and energy reached in 2014 was hard-fought and carefully balanced, which helps explain why ministers hold on to it.

But the summit conclusions also said that the ambition level could be reviewed depending on the outcome of international climate talks in Paris, which yielded a landmark treaty in 2015.

Coal power
Ministers also discussed where to get stand-by power from.

The commission suggested that as of 2020, public payments to guarantee such stand-by power should no longer come from coal power, which is the most CO2-intensive of the fossil fuels.

The council however suggested that this could be delayed to 2025 for new coal-fired power plants, and in other cases even 2035.

Canete said at the press conference that there was no unanimity on this file, and said that for different reasons, the compromise was not supported by Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

Climate lobby groups like Greenpeace and E3G were also critical.

"Europe's coal plants will think Christmas has come early as EU energy ministers stand ready to offer them near limitless subsidies," said Greenpeace.

"Today confirmed that EU governments are unwilling to make the right choices to build a inclusive, competitive, and clean economy. Given a choice, EU governments have chosen coal over renewables; incumbent players over consumers; national control over efficiency," said E3G in a statement.

The ministerial discussion began in the morning and ran until around midnight.

"The debate in the Council has shown the determination of all member states to create a resilient Energy Union," said Estonian economic affairs minister Kadri Simson, who chaired the meeting.

"Today's agreement is its cornerstone, providing robust rules, an effective framework for implementation and is future-proof," she said.
climate  environment 
january 2018 by henningninneh
Who’s the world’s leading eco-vandal? It’s Angela Merkel | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian
The EU decision to replace petrol engines with diesel, though driven by German car manufacturers, predates her premiership. It was a classic European fudge, a means of averting systemic change while creating an impression of action, based on the claim (which now turns out to be false) that diesel engines produce less carbon dioxide than petrol. But once she became chancellor, Merkel used every conceivable tactic, fair and foul, to preserve this deadly cop-out.

The worst instance was in 2013, when, after five years of negotiations, other European governments had finally agreed a new fuel economy standard for cars: they would produce an average of no more than 95g of CO2 per km by 2020. Merkel moved in to close the whole thing down.

She is alleged to have threatened the then president of the European council, Irish taoiseach Enda Kenny, with the cancellation of Ireland’s bailout funds. She told the Netherlands and Hungary the German car plants in their countries would be closed. She struck a filthy deal with David Cameron, offering to frustrate European banking regulations if he helped her to block the fuel regulations. Through these brutal strategies, she managed to derail the agreement. The €700,000 donation her party then received from the major shareholders in BMW does not suggest they were unhappy with what she had achieved.
environment  climate  cars 
november 2017 by henningninneh
Germany slams Dutch call for more ambitious EU climate goal
Germany's outgoing environment minister said on Friday (17 November) that a Dutch proposal to increase the EU's emissions reduction target to 55 percent was "unrealistic".
environment  climate 
november 2017 by henningninneh
Emissions trading deal reached after 'isolating' Poland
Romania and Bulgaria - but not Poland - will be allowed to use money from an EU fund to modernise their coal-fired power plants, negotiators from the EU institutions agreed early on Thursday (9 November), according to three sources who were in the room.
The eligibility criteria for receiving grants from the Modernisation Fund was one of the main sticking points in the talks over the reform of the EU's emissions trading system (ETS).

The European Parliament, on one side, did not want to fund any projects related to coal, which is the fossil fuel that emits the most CO2 per unit of electricity.
The Council of the EU, however, had to find a balance between the 28 member states it represents.

Several eastern EU countries are still very much reliant on energy from dirty coal-fired power plants. In particular Poland had been vocal on wanting to have the option to use the fund to finance projects related to coal.

The three sources told EUobserver that a compromise was found by saying that no solid fossil fuels can be financed - with one exception.

Only countries whose national GDP are below a certain percentage of the EU average would be eligible to finance projects that would modernise coal-fired power plants by making them more efficient, and hooking them up to district heating systems.
climate 
november 2017 by henningninneh
Germany and France defend emissions trading deal
Most significantly, Makaroff criticised that the reformed ETS would allow "some" funding of projects related to coal power.

The environmentalist was referring to the new Modernisation Fund, of which at most 5.2 percent of funding will be available to projects promoting district heating from coal-fired power plants in Bulgaria and Romania.
climate 
november 2017 by henningninneh
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