Europe in the World
Climate and Energy Platform
The EU and its member states are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and to achieving more secure, cheaper and sustainable energy. By setting itself 2020, 2030, and 2050 climate and energy targets, the EU aims to create a functioning European energy market and improve its energy policy towards external actors, and contribute to limiting the rise of global temperature to at least 2°C. In order to pursue these objectives in a smart way, that enhances its competitiveness as well as the well-being of its citizens, the EU needs a framework for action that balances economic, environmental, and security priorities against market and geopolitical uncertainties.
As the necessity to decouple economic growth from a rise in emissions is becoming increasingly urgent, it is paramount for the EU to conduct an ambitious climate policy in line with its climate targets and the pledges made in the Paris agreement. Although the focus has already shifted to the 2030 climate and energy framework, at the same time, the implementation of the 20/20/20 climate and energy targets on emission reduction, renewables, and energy efficiency will continue to be a source of discussion in the EU. While the energy sector has a major role to play in the EU’s effort to mitigate climate change and its impacts, this is only part of the story. Effective climate action requires reducing emissions also in other sectors including agriculture and transport. Reflection is therefore needed on how to build a comprehensive framework for smart climate action. The aim should be to create a fully functional EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), reduce emissions in sectors not covered by the EU ETS, develop EU’s resilience to rising temperatures through adaptation measures and enhance its leadership in the fight against climate change worldwide.
In order for the EU deliver on the Energy Union, in addition to climate action, it needs to tackle the issues around competitiveness and energy security. This starts within the EU. Despite some progress, the EU’s energy markets remain fragmented due to a lack of political cohesion and coherent regulatory framework. Creating a functional and integrated EU internal energy market for gas and electricity would give consumers and businesses more and better products and services, more competition, more secure supplies and give the EU weight and credibility in negotiations with its suppliers. Secondly, taking the worsening geopolitical environment and the reality that the EU’s energy dependence on external sources continues to be over 50% and is set to increase as domestic output shrinks, calls for better understanding of the current state of play and future trends in global energy markets, as well as the priorities and policies of countries acting as suppliers and entry routes for Europe.
Raising the level of discussion and outcomes. Much needs to be done in order to meet the current challenges. The European Policy Centre’s Climate and Energy Platform aims to promote further discussion on these issues through multi-stakeholder debate and independent analysis. While evaluating the current policy developments, it makes recommendations for the way forward, and reflects on the elements needed to achieve a positive and successful narrative for climate and energy action in Europe, that shows the possibilities in and benefits of reducing global emissions, fighting climate change locally, securing energy supplies, promoting wider socio-economic interests and increasing competitiveness – all at the same time.
Member states’ perspectives on the Energy Union
The aim of the series is to discuss national interests and wishes but also the national challenges brought by the pursuit of the EU’s energy and climate objectives.
The EPC launched a Task Force that would aim to share experiences and best practices across the EU, evaluate the state of play of diverse policies that can help to tackle energy poverty, and explore what additional role the EU could play in helping to address the challenge.
The EPC team