Short Summary Energy Focus Group

20/03/2014

Initial summary of the discussions of the Energy Focus Group. More details to follow.

In terms of what to expect at the Council summit, many anticipate that the situation in Ukraine will shadow the climate and energy debates. Consequently it’s possible that no real decisions will be taken and instead more of a timeline on when the decisions will be taken.

It seems that there are still a lot of divergence between member states on what and how the targets should be.

In the general discussion in our focus group, it was agreed that in the end that although it is important to have ambitious targets, and that learning from the past set of targets if they are not legally binding they will not be reached, however there is more at stake. The framework doesn’t get into the policy detail of how the framework will be implemented, also what the investment  and infrastructure plans and costs are likely to be for instance.

A lot comes down to the Emissions Trading Scheme and how and when this will be revived especially when considering our Greenhouse gas emissions.

Many NGOs felt that the framework doesn’t go far enough. The MEPs are quite happy from the progressive side, from the Parliamentary report which heavily criticised the Commission white paper. Whereas the energy companies feel that the current framework does not give enough long-term predictability.

Background

The meeting of the energy focus group took place just before the European Council of Ministers summit which addresses the 2030 climate and energy framework.
Proposed by the European Commission in January and heavily criticised by the European Parliament this package is about to be decided at the Council summit. The seminar will focus on the original negotiations and the recommendations of the European Parliament looking towards outcomes that the Council may bring.
 
The focus group is a series of closed seminars with invited experts from a range of fields to discuss energy issues.

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