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EC European Green Deal -- "Fit for 55" -- Proposes Massive Transformation to Meet Climate Change Ambitions (Int'l. Report)
European Green Deal
Date: 2021-07-16
On Wednesday the 14th, the European Commission (EC) announced the adoption of a package of proposals to make the EU's climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 pct by 2030 (Fit for 55), compared to 1990 levels. Achieving these emission reductions in the next decade is crucial to Europe becoming the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and making the European Green Deal a reality. With today's proposals, the Commission is presenting the legislative tools to deliver on the targets agreed in the European Climate Law and fundamentally transform our economy and society for a fair, green and prosperous future. The following proposals will enable the necessary acceleration of greenhouse gas emission reductions in the next decade:

  • The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) puts a price on carbon and lowers the cap on emissions from certain economic sectors every year. It has successfully brought down emissions from power generation and energy-intensive industries by 42.8 pct in the past 16 years. The EC is proposing to lower the overall emission cap even further and increase its annual rate of reduction and to phase out free emission allowances for aviation and align with the global Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and to include shipping emissions for the first time in the EU ETS.

    To complement the substantial spending on climate in the EU budget, Member States should spend the entirety of their emissions trading revenues on climate and energy-related projects. A dedicated part of the revenues from the new system for road transport and buildings should address the possible social impact on vulnerable households, micro-enterprises and transport users.

  • The Effort Sharing Regulation assigns strengthened emissions reduction targets to each Member State for buildings, road and domestic maritime transport, agriculture, waste and small industries. Recognizing the different starting points and capacities of each Member State, these targets are based on their GDP per capita, with adjustments made to take cost efficiency into account.

  • Member States also share responsibility for removing carbon from the atmosphere, so the Regulation on Land Use, Forestry and Agriculture sets an overall EU target for carbon removals by natural sinks, equivalent to 310 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2030. National targets will require Member States to care for and expand their carbon sinks to meet this target. By 2035, the EU should aim to reach climate neutrality in the land use, forestry and agriculture sectors, including also agricultural non-CO2 emissions, such as those from fertilizer use and livestock. The EU Forest Strategy aims to improve the quality, quantity and resilience of EU forests. It supports foresters and the forest-based bioeconomy while keeping harvesting and biomass use sustainable, preserving biodiversity, and setting out a plan to plant three billion trees across Europe by 2030.

  • Energy production and use accounts for 75 pct of EU emissions, so accelerating the transition to a greener energy system is crucial. The Renewable Energy Directive will set an increased target to produce 40 pct of our energy from renewable sources by 2030. All Member States will contribute to this goal, and specific targets are proposed for renewable energy use in transport, heating and cooling, buildings and industry. To meet both our climate and environmental goals, sustainability criteria for the use of bioenergy are strengthened and Member States must design any support schemes for bioenergy in a way that respects the cascading principle of uses for woody biomass.

  • To reduce overall energy use, cut emissions and tackle energy poverty, the Energy Efficiency Directive will set a more ambitious binding annual target for reducing energy use at EU level. It will guide how national contributions are established and almost double the annual energy saving obligation for Member States. The public sector will be required to renovate 3 pct of its buildings each year to drive the renovation wave, create jobs and bring down energy use and costs to the taxpayer.

  • A combination of measures is required to tackle rising emissions in road transport to complement emissions trading. Stronger CO2 emissions standards for cars and vans will accelerate the transition to zero-emission mobility by requiring average emissions of new cars to come down by 55 pct from 2030 and 100 pct from 2035 compared to 2021 levels. As a result, all new cars registered as of 2035 will be zero-emission. To ensure that drivers are able to charge or fuel their vehicles at a reliable network across Europe, the revised Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation will require Member States to expand charging capacity in line with zero-emission car sales, and to install charging and fuelling points at regular intervals on major highways: every 60 kilometres for electric charging and every 150 kilometres for hydrogen refuelling.

  • Aviation and maritime fuels cause significant pollution and also require dedicated action to complement emissions trading. The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation requires that aircraft and ships have access to clean electricity supply in major ports and airports. The ReFuelEU Aviation Initiative will oblige fuel suppliers to blend increasing levels of sustainable aviation fuels in jet fuel taken on-board at EU airports, including synthetic low carbon fuels, known as e-fuels. Similarly, the FuelEU Maritime Initiative will stimulate the uptake of sustainable maritime fuels and zero-emission technologies by setting a maximum limit on the greenhouse gas content of energy used by ships calling at European ports.

  • The tax system for energy products must safeguard and improve the Single Market and support the green transition by setting the right incentives. A revision of the Energy Taxation Directive proposes to align the taxation of energy products with EU energy and climate policies, promoting clean technologies and removing outdated exemptions and reduced rates that currently encourage the use of fossil fuels. The new rules aim at reducing the harmful effects of energy tax competition, helping secure revenues for Member States from green taxes, which are less detrimental to growth than taxes on labour.

  • Finally, a new Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (Tax) will put a carbon price on imports of a targeted selection of products to ensure that ambitious climate action in Europe does not lead to 'carbon leakage.' This will ensure that European emission reductions contribute to a global emissions decline, instead of pushing carbon-intensive production outside Europe. It also aims to encourage industry outside the EU and our international partners to take steps in the same direction.

    European Green Deal, www.ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en. (Source: EC, PR, 14 July, 2021)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Green Deal,  


  • Alt Fuels, Bioenergy, SAF Key in EU Fit for 55 (Int'l. Report)
    European Green Deal
    Date: 2021-07-16
    On Wednesday the 14th, the European Commission (ED) adopted a package of proposals to make the EU's climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 pct by 2030 (Fit for 55), compared to 1990 levels. Achieving these emission reductions in the next decade is crucial to Europe becoming the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and making the European Green Deal a reality. With today's proposals, the Commission is presenting the legislative tools to deliver on the targets agreed in the European Climate Law.

    The EU Forest Strategy supports the forest-based bioeconomy while keeping harvesting and biomass use sustainable, preserving biodiversity, and setting out a plan to plant three billion trees across Europe by 2030. To meet both our climate and environmental goals, sustainability criteria for the use of bioenergy are strengthened and EU Member States must design any support schemes for bioenergy in a way that respects the cascading principle of uses for woody biomass.

    The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation ReFuelEU Aviation Initiative will oblige fuel suppliers to blend increasing levels of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) in jet fuel taken on-board at EU airports, including synthetic low carbon fuels. Similarly, the FuelEU Maritime Initiative will stimulate the uptake of sustainable maritime fuels and zero-emission technologies by setting a maximum limit on the greenhouse gas content of energy used by ships calling at European ports.

    European Green Deal, www.ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en. (Source: EC, PR, 14 July, 2021)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Fit for 55,  Bioeconomy,  European Green Deal,  SAF,  Biofuel,  Biomass,  GHG,  


    "Fit for 55" Calls for Energy Use Cuts, Increased Efficiency (Int'l.)
    European Green Deal
    Date: 2021-07-16
    On Wednesday the 14th, the European Commission (EC) adopted a package of proposals to make the EU's climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 pct by 2030 (Fit for 55) , compared to 1990 levels. Achieving these emission reductions in the next decade is crucial to Europe becoming the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and making the European Green Deal a reality. With the Fit for 55 proposals, the Commission is presenting the legislative tools to deliver on the targets agreed in the European Climate Law and fundamentally transform the EU economy and society.

    To reduce overall energy use, cut emissions and tackle energy poverty, the Energy Efficiency Directive will set a more ambitious binding annual target for reducing energy use and will guide how national contributions are established and almost double the annual energy saving obligation for Member States. The public sector will be required to renovate 3 pct of its buildings each year to drive the renovation wave, bring down energy use and costs.

    European Green Deal, www.ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en. (Source: EC, PR, 14 July, 2021)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Green Deal,  Energy Consumption,  Energy Management,  Energy Efficiency,  GHG,  


    Renewable Energy Key in EU "Fit for 55" Green Deal (Int'l. Report)
    European Green Deal
    Date: 2021-07-16
    On Wednesday the 14th, the European Commission (EC) adopted a package of proposals to make the EU's climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 pct (Fit for 55)by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. Achieving these emission reductions in the next decade is crucial to Europe becoming the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and making the European Green Deal a reality.

    With the proposals, the Commission is presenting the legislative tools to deliver on the targets agreed in the European Climate Law and fundamentally transform the EU economy and society for a fair, green and prosperous future.

    Energy production and use accounts for 75 pct of EU emissions, so accelerating the transition to a greener energy system is crucial. The Renewable Energy Directive will set an increased target to produce 40 pct of EU energy from renewable sources by 2030. All EU Member States will contribute to this goal, and specific targets are proposed for renewable energy use in transport, heating and cooling, buildings and industry.

    European Green Deal, www.ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en. (Source: EC, PR, 14 July, 2021)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  European Green Deal,  


    EC, Breakthrough Energy Catalyst Partnership Touted (Int'l. Report)
    European Commission,Breakthrough Energy
    Date: 2021-06-07
    European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen and Bill Gates have announced a pioneering partnership between the European Commission and Breakthrough Energy Catalyst to boost investments in the critical climate technologies that will enable the net-zero economy. The new partnership aims to mobilize new investments of up to €820 million ($1 billion) between 2022-26 to build large-scale, commercial demonstration projects for clean technologies -- lowering their costs, accelerating their deployment, and delivering significant reductions in CO2 emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.

    The partnership intends to invest in high-impact EU-based projects initially in four sectors with a high potential to help deliver on the economic and climate ambitions of the European Green Deal -- green hydrogen; sustainable aviation fuels (SAF); direct air carbon capture; and long-duration energy storage. In doing so, it seeks to scale up key climate-smart technologies and speed up the transition towards sustainable industries in Europe.

    Investment support will take the form of financial instruments and grants. The partnership will also be open to private, philanthropic and national investments by EU Member States through InvestEU or at project level, according to the EC release. (Source: European Commissions, PR, 2 June, 2021) Contact: European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, Pres Breakthrough Energy, www.breakthroughenergy.org EU Innovation Fund, www.ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/innovation-fund_en; EU Green Deal, www.ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission,  Breakthrough Energy,  Clean Energy,  Carbon Emissions,  Bill Gates,  


    Volkswagen Targets Net Carbon Neutral by 2050 (Int'l. Report)
    Volkswagen
    Date: 2021-04-30
    German automaker Volkswagen reports it plans to cut CO2 emissions per vehicle in Europe by 40 pct by 2030 and to become net carbon neutral by 2050 to meet the climate targets introduced in the European Green Deal.

    To that end, VW is working to decarbonise its production and supply chains and has pledged that all its plants except for those in China will be powered purely by 'green' electricity by 2030. The auto giant is also introducing more sustainable components into the construction of its vehicles and says that CO2 emissions will now be a key criterion when awarding contracts to suppliers.

    VW also aims to increase its share of EV sales to 70 pct of its European sales and 50 pct of its U.S. and China sales by 2030 The firm is also pushing to develop its battery recycling operation and intends to recycle more than 90 pct of the raw materials used in its batteries in the future. (Source: Volkswagen, PR, AutoCar, 27 Apr., 2021)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Neutral,  Volkswagen,  


    Atos, HDF Energy to Develop Green Hydrogen Datacenter (Int'l.)

    Date: 2021-02-26
    In Paris, Atos International and HDF Energy are reporting plans to develop a complete end-to-end long-term solution to supply datacenters with green hydrogen generated by renewable energy in 2023.

    Atos will supply the hardware, software, integration services and advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies to optimize energy consumption. HDF Energy will supply a power plant which will provide predictable and firm electricity thanks to its high-powered fuel cells powered by green hydrogen derived from photovoltaic or wind farms.

    Atos recently signed the Climate Neutral Datacenter Pact together with 35 other European companies and associations emphasizing the industry's contribution to the European Green Deal. (Source: Atos, PR, 24 Feb., 2021) Contact: Atos Lucie Duchateau , +33 (0)7 62 85 35 10, lucie.duchateau@atos.net, www.atos.net; HDF, Annick Latour, +33 (0)5 56 77 11 11, communication@hdf-energy.com, www.hdf-energy.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Hydrogen,  


    EU Ethanol Trade Assoc. Comments on Decarbonising Transportation (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    ePURE
    Date: 2021-02-26
    ePURE, the European renewable ethanol trade association, notes that as part of its European Green Deal roadmap, the EU is considering revising two key legislative tools it uses to drive decarbonisation -- the Emissions Trading System (ETS) which creates a market for carbon emissions by allowing emitters to buy or sell emission allowances, and the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) which sets binding greenhouse-gas emissions reduction targets for EU Member States for sectors not covered by the ETS, including transportation.

    Among the policy options being considered are an extension of the scope of the ETS to include road transport and a possible phase-out of the ESR. ePURE has provided the following suggestions on how they can be better integrated with other EU policies to become more effective at achieving Europe's climate goals.

    A successful decarbonisation policy in transport must ensure a total coherence of actions between car manufacturers, fuel suppliers and retailers. But an ETS for road transport would seriously disrupt the existing growing synergy between these stakeholders, hamper efforts to reduce emissions from transport, increase fuel prices and create social discontent.

    A more effective solution would better integrate existing EU policies. For example, the targets of the EU Renewable Energy Directive should be increased in line with higher Green Deal ambitions. Other policies, such as the Energy Taxation Directive and CO2 standards for cars and vans must be revised in order to integrate the CO2 content and the biogenic content of fuels, thus better reflecting the real environmental performance of biofuels. These actions, however, do not necessitate the extension of the ETS to road transport, and their revision should be carried out independently.

    At first glance the ESR has so far been a success with the EU achieving and even surpassing its 9.3 pct emissions reduction objectives as a whole by 2020 as early as in 2018, due mainly to progress in sectors that were the easiest to decarbonise, such as buildings and waste. There has been little to no decarbonisation in the transportation and agriculture sectors, which account for over 50 pct of the ESR emissions, and meeting the already agreed 2030 target of 30 pct. Moreover, there have been many differing levels of progress among Member States.

    ePURE suggests the EU should not abandon what works but rather should strengthen and improve the legislative tools that actually boost renewable energy and fuels and encourage carbon abatement. This includes keeping ESR targets, the sole legally binding targets for Member States to reduce emissions in sectors not currently in the ETS. Keeping the existing legislation and increasing their ambition levels, including ESR, RED II and the Fuel Quality Directive is a safety net that the EU should not phase out without good reasons. (Source: ePURE, Website PR, 15 Feb., 2021) Contact: ePURE, Emmanuel Desplechin, Secretary-General, +32 2 657 6679, info@epure.org, www.epure.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ePURE,  Ethanol,  GHG,  Greenhouse Gas,  Carbon Emissions,  


    EU "Surgical" Carbon Border Tax Proposed (Int'l. Report)
    European Commission
    Date: 2021-02-17
    In Brussels, the European Commission (EC) will reportedly propose a highly targeted carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) this year that will focus on imports from countries that are not acting to reach climate neutrality by mid-century, according to green deal chief Frans Timmermans.

    As previously reported, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev has called for a EU carbon border tax to comply with international agreements on climate. "If the tax is imposed, there should definitely be an effort to keep it in compliance with the EU framework convention on climate and Paris Climate Agreement. We have to hold bilateral talks on this with the EU and via dedicated international platforms, such as the WTO, the agencies that deal with climate change and relevant conventions," Medvedev noted while speaking at a meeting on the potential impact of the tax on Russia.

    The EC proposed climate legislation requiring the EU to become climate-neutral by 2050 as part of the European Green Deal. This follows the December 2019 EC decision to endorse the 2050 climate-neutrality objective. On 17 September, the Commission amended its proposal to incorporate a new 2030 emissions reduction target. (Source: EC, PR, Feb., 2021) Contact: EU, www.europa.eu; European Commission, ec.europa.eu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Green Deal,  European Commission,  Carbon Tax,  Border Carbon Tax,  Frans Timmermans,  


    Repsol Joins Renewable Hydrogen Consortium, Reports Aviation Biofuels Production (Int'l.)
    Repsol
    Date: 2021-01-29
    Repsol is reporting the H24All project consortium has presented an application for European Green Deal funding to develop Europe's first 100 MW alkaline electrolyzer plant which will be connected to a Repsol industrial site. The technology will be demonstrated in real operation according to end-users' needs and market requirements for low-carbon hydrogen production and to boost the use of renewable hydrogen by reducing the cost to close to €3/kg H2.

    The 15 member consortium of research centers, material suppliers, engineering firms specializing in electrolyzers, auto makers and others, aims to pave the way for a new and competitive hydrogen industry based on European know-how through innovation by developing, building, operating, and demonstrating the sustainability of a 100 MW high-pressure alkaline electrolyzer. Consortium partners are from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Spain, and Turkey.

    In other Repsol news, on 21 Jan. the company reported production of the first 10,000 tonnes of aviation biofuel from biomass at its industrial complex in Tarragona in Spain. Additional aviation biofuel production is planned at the group's other industrial complexes in Spain. Last August the company reported production of its first batch of biofuel at the Puertollano Industrial Complex.

    According to Spain's Integrated National Plan for Energy and Climate, biofuels currently represent the most widely available and used renewable technology in transportation. In certain sectors, such as aviation, biojet fuel produced from biomass or waste is the only existing alternative to fossil fuels and is included in the list of sustainable fuels, according to the Plan. (Source: Repsol, PR 21, 27 Jan., 2021) Contact: Repsol, Josu Jon Imaz, CEO, +34 91 7538100, +34 91 7538000, www.repsol.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Green Deal ,  Repsol,  Hydrogen,  Biofuel,  Aviation Biofuel,  


    Aluminum Giant Commits to Carbon Neutrality by 2050 (Int'l. Report)
    En+ Group
    Date: 2021-01-22
    London and Moscow-based Russian energy and aluminum company En+ Group, the world's largest aluminium maker, is reporting it aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 35 pct by 2030 and achieve carbon net-zero by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal and supportive of the global transition to a low-carbon economy.

    The company plan covers Scope 1 and 2 emissions across the group's entire operations, including aluminum production, heat and electricity generation. To that end, the company will convene a En+ Climate Change Taskforce and publish its final net-zero strategy in September 2021 ahead of the UN COP26 in Glasgow.

    The company notes its target of emitting less than 2.7 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per tonne of aluminum (scope 1 and scope 2 from electrolysis) by 2025, was met in 2017. (Source: En+ Group, PR, Website, Platts, 18 Jan., 2021) Contact: En+ Group (London), +44 207 747 4900, Fax: +44 207 747 4910, Sustainable Dev . (Moscow), +7 495 642 7937, csr@enplus.ru, www.enplusgroup.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Caebon Neutral,  Carbon Emissions,  


    €30Bn Dutch GHG Emissions Reduction Scheme Approved (Int'l.)
    European Commission
    Date: 2020-12-16
    The European Commission (EC) reports it has approved, under EU state aid rules, a €30 billion scheme to support projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands while contributing to the EU environmental objectives and supporting the EU Green Deal.

    The €30 billion scheme, which will run until 2025, will support cost effective renewable energy, use of waste heat, hydrogen production, carbon capture and storage(CCS) and other environmentally-friendly projects in line with EU rules.

    Scheme beneficiaries will receive support via a variable premium contract of up to 15 years, according to the EC release. (Source: European Commission, EU Reporter, 15 Dec., 2020)Contact: EU Green Deal, ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission ,  European Green Deal,  Carbon Emissions,  GHGs,  


    EU Leaders Agree on Green Recovery Funds, Emission Cuts (Int'l.)
    European Green Deal
    Date: 2020-12-14
    Last week in Brussels, the European Council (EC) approved the 27-member European Union's €1.82 trillion, seven-year funding package and gave the green light for a €750 "NextGenerationEU" mechanism to finance the European Green Deal which the EC described as its "growth strategy." The EC also called for a cut in emissions by 55 pct within the next decade.

    The EC's approvals must now pass the European Parliament's muster. (Source: European Commission, PR, Various Media, 12 Dec., 2020) Contact: European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, Pres., ec.europa.eu; European Green Deal, www. ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission ,  European Green Deal,  


    EU Releases 2030 Climate Target Plan (Int'l. Report)
    European Union,EC
    Date: 2020-10-26
    In 2019, the EU endorsed a new target of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. However, it is predicted that current policies will only reduce emissions by 60 pct (as against 1990 levels) by 2050.

    To begin to address the challenge ahead, the European Commission (EC) published the 2019 Communication on the European Green Deal (EGD), a growth strategy to reset the EC's commitment to tackling climate change. The EGD outlined an all-sector approach to reducing emissions and decoupling economic growth from resource use. The EC committed to presenting an impact assessed plan to increase the existing target for 2030 of reducing emissions by 40 pct to at least 50 pct to 55 pct against 1990 levels.

    Based on this impact assessment, the EC published a Communication on Stepping up 2030 Europe's Climate Ambition (Climate Target Plan) in September 2020 proposing to increase the 2030 target to at least 55 pct emissions reduction by 2030. Under the Climate Target Plan renewable energy would meet 38 pct to 40 pct of gross final consumption in 2030, and energy consumption would further reduce in 2030, achieving savings of 36--37 pct (final energy consumption -- total energy consumed by end users) and 39--41 pct (primary energy consumption -- total energy used to meet final energy needs).

    Previously this month, the European Parliament (EP) voted to up the 2030 target to 60 pct , and urged the EC to explore options for setting 2040 targets and negative post-2050 targets. The EP also sought a greater role in setting the indicative trajectory for achieving the target, an EU carbon budget, and a more explicit focus on emissions in the maritime and aviation transport sectors.

    Access the Climate Target Plan HERE. (Source: EU, EC, mondaq, 25 October, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


    EU Calls for Stiffened GHG Emissions Reduction Target (Int'l. Report)
    EU,European Commission
    Date: 2020-10-05
    On Monday, the European Union (EU) Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Executive VP Frans Timmermans presented the EC plan to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 pct by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

    Timmermans noted that although GHG emissions are not currently falling fast enough he underlined that becoming carbon neutral is both feasible and beneficial for the EU. He called for the European Parliament (EP) to confirm the proposed 55 pct 2030-target as the EU's new Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Climate Agreement, and to submit this to the UNFCCC by the end of this year. The EP is expected to vote next week on the EU Climate Law, which calls for 60 pct emission reductions in 2030. Timmermans also noted the EC would come up with proposals by June 2021 to revise key EU legislation such as the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and strengthening CO2 standards for road vehicles to enable the EU to reach a more ambitious target.

    As previously reported this past March, the EC proposed climate legislation requiring the EU to become climate-neutral by 2050 as part of the European Green Deal. This follows the December 2019 EC decision to endorse the 2050 climate-neutrality objective. On 17 September, the Commission amended its proposal to incorporate a new 2030 emissions reduction target. (Source: European Commissions, PR, EU News Room, Oct., 2020) Contact: EU, www.europa.eu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Neutral,  European Commissions,  EU ETS,  Climate Change,  


    EC Aims to Maintain "Green State Control" (Int'l. Report)
    EC
    Date: 2020-09-28
    Reporting from Munich, European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen has confirmed that the European Union (EU), with its "Green Deal", has committed to wide-ranging plans to direct the economy through enforcement mechanisms and a taxonomy for the "greenness" of private investment projects that, together with complementary actions by the European Central Bank, will effectively differentiate the interest rates at which European companies can borrow in the capital market.

    Additionally, "the EC has shown no indication that it is willing to abandon central planning in favor of a comprehensive emissions trading system. By turning its back on the market, it exposes itself to the suspicion that its main concern is not with combating climate protection, but rather with crafting an industrial policy whose true motives and aims can only be a matter of speculation." (Source: University of Munich, Japan Times, 26 Sept., 2020) Contact: EC,University of Munich, Hans-Werner Sinn, Professor of Economics, +49 (0 89/9224-1279, Fax: +49 (0) 89/9224-1901, sinn@ifo.de, www.en.uni-muenchen.de

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  European Commission,  European Green Deal,  


    EC Reassessing 2030 Targets for 2050 Carbon Neutrality (Int'l. Report)
    European Commission
    Date: 2020-08-12
    In Brussels, the European Commission (EC) reports it is considering more ambitious 2030 targets on renewable energy and energy efficiency action with the aim of ensuring the EU delivers on its pledge to become climate neutral by 2050.

    The review will sharpen the EC's view of the renewable energy and energy efficiency's contribution to meeting the European Green Deal's goal of reducing the 28-member trading bloc's greenhouse gas emissions by 50-55 pct by 2030.

    For renewables, the EC seeks to assess if the renewables target of at least 32 pct for 2030 should be raise and that other directives and initiatives should be modified to be in line with the Energy System Integration Strategy and the Hydrogen Strategy. The outcome of the review and possible proposals are expected in June 2021. (Source: European Union News, European Commission, Balkan Green Energy News, Aug., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission,  Renewable Energy,  Carbon Emissions,  


    The European Green Deal -- In the Fast Lane with Biomethane in Transport (Int'l. Ind. Report Attached)
    European Biogas Association ,Natural and Bio Gas Vehicle Association
    Date: 2020-06-15
    The attached document from the European Biogas Association (EBA) and the Natural and Bio Gas Vehicle Association (NGVA Europe) illustrates the current and potential uptake of biomethane in the transportation sector.

    According to the document, 17 pct of biomethane is used today to fuel natural gas vehicles (NGVs) in 25 pct of Europe's refueling network, resulting in a 35 pct reduction of emissions when compared to conventional fuels -- the highest rate of emissions reduction compared to other fuels, with greater potential when coupled with renewable gas. The report notes 117 terawatt-hours of renewable gas could be distributed as transport fuel as bioCNG and bioLNG by 2030 -- 40 pct of the overall fuel consumption of NGVs, estimated at more than 13 million vehicles in 2030.

    A higher uptake of bioCNG and bioLNG in the sector will result in an overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction of 55 pct . Up to one million jobs will be created to ensure the scale-up of biomethane in the coming decades. New CNG and LNG stations and vehicles must also be created and must be compatible with their renewable counterparts, the document notes.

    Download the The European Green Deal -- In the Fast Lane with Biomethane in Transport report HERE. (Source: European Biogas Association, Website, June, 2020) Contact: www.europeanbiogas.eu; Natural & bio Gas Vehicle Association, www.ngva.eu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News European Biogas Association,  Natural and Bio Gas Vehicle Association,  biCNG,  Biogas,  bioLNG,  


    French Position Paper Calls for Carbon Floor Price (Int'l.)
    Carbon Price,Low Carbon Energy
    Date: 2020-05-01
    According to a recently circulated paper, French authorities consider present COVID-19 and related market conditions make a clear case for "mechanisms ensuring that these energies remain consistently above a certain floor price" from the perspective of both consumers and investors.

    Such a mechanism could take the form of "a carbon price floor" that could be implemented either through the EU's emissions trading scheme (EUETS)or the energy taxation directive, which is up for review as part of the European Green Deal. The paper notes that structurally low electricity prices hinder investments in new low-carbon power generation capacity needed to meet the EU's decarbonisation goals.

    Download the French position paper HERE. (Source: euractive, 27 April, 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News EUETS,  Carbon Price,  Carbon Tax,  EU ETS,  


    Financing and Investment Trends - The European wind industry in 2019 -- Wind Europe Report Attached (Int'l Report)
    WindEurope
    Date: 2020-04-08
    According to WindEurope's just released annual Financing and Investment Trends, Europe saw €19 billion of new wind farm investments confirmed in 2019, and a further €33 billion invested in the refinancing of wind farms, the acquisitions of wind farm projects and other transactions.

    Most of the investments in new wind farms were in onshore wind -- €13 billion -- over 10 GW of new projects. The report expects 80 pct of all wind capacity additions over the next five years to be onshore. The EU Commission expects it to be 50 pct by 2050.

    The report also takes a closer look at the diverse investors involved in wind energy financing. Banks play an increasing role extending over €20 billion of non-recourse debt in 2019. Non-recourse debt accounts for 49 pct of all investment in new onshore wind projects and 77 pct in new offshore wind farms.

    The Sustainable Europe Investment Plan, the investment pillar of the European Green Deal, aims to mobilize at least €1 trillion in additional private and public capital for renewable energy projects in the next decade.

    Download the Wind Europe Financing and Investment Trends - The European wind industry in 2019 repot HERE. (Source: Wind Europe, 7 April, 2020) Contact: Wind Europe, Giles Dickson, CEO, +32 2 213 1811 / Fax: +32 2 213 1890 info@windeurope.org, www.windeurope.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News WindEurope,  Wind,  


    EC Cutting Industrial Carbon Cost Refunds (Int'l. Report)
    EU,EC,EU ETS
    Date: 2020-01-17
    In Brussels, the European Commission (EC) is reporting a proposal to reduce the number of industries eligible for compensation for the costs incurred from their inclusion in the EU's carbon market Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). Under the proposal, reparations would be "conditional upon decarbonisation efforts by the companies concerned."

    The industries affected by the proposal include: Iron ore mining; man-made fiber manufacturing; copper production; preparation and spinning of textile fibers; organic basic chemicals manufacturing; nitrogen compounds and fertilizer manufacturing; and mining of chemical and fertilizer minerals.

    In a statement, the European Commission defended the The new state aid guidelines are inline with the European Green Deal which aims to cut global warming emissions, according to the EC release. (Source: EC, EURACTIV, 16 Jan., 2020)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  EU ETS,  EC,  EU,  


    The European Green Deal -- Full Document Attached (Int'l.)
    The European Green Deal
    Date: 2019-12-16
    The European Union's The European Green Deal resets the European Commission's (EC) commitment to tackling the challenges of a warming atmosphere and global climate change.

    The European Green Deal is a new growth strategy that aims to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use.

    It also aims to protect, conserve and enhance the EU's natural capital, and protect the health and well-being of citizens from environment-related risks and impacts. At the same time, this transition must be just and inclusive. It must put people first, and pay attention to the regions, industries and workers who will face the greatest challenges. Since it will bring substantial change, active public participation and confidence in the transition is paramount if policies are to work and be accepted. A new pact is needed to bring together citizens in all their diversity, with national, regional, local authorities, civil society and industry working closely with the EU's institutions and consultative bodies.

    This Communication presents an initial roadmap of the key policies and measures needed to achieve the European Green Deal.

    Download the full The European Green Deal HERE. (Source: The European Commission, 11 Dec., 2019) Contact: European Commission, www.ec.europa.eu

    More Low-Carbon Energy News The European Green Deal,  Climate Change,  COP25,  


    Why including buildings in the EU ETS is not the right tool to deliver energy-efficient homes
    EURIMA
    Date: 2019-11-29
    The European Commission is assessing whether to extend the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) to cover the emissions associated with the heating and cooling of buildings. This paper points out several reasons why this would not be the best approach to deliver a highly energy-efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050.

    Buildings are the EU’s biggest CO2 emitter. Our homes, offices and buildings are the EU’s biggest CO2emitters, as well as its single largest energy user. Decreasing and decarbonising the energy consumption to heat, cool and use buildings is crucial for the transition to a climate-neutral Europe by 2050 at the latest. Since most of the buildings that we will occupy in 2050 are already built, the main challenge is to renovate these 210 million existing buildings to make them less energy-hungry. At the current rate of renovation, it would take another century to achieve a decarbonised building stock, instead of the targeted30 years. Further inaction risks the EU missing its climate objectives by up to 400 million tonnes of CO21.Around 50 million people still live in energy poverty. Deep renovation of their homes would lower their energy bills and make their houses more comfortable and healthy. Well-insulated buildings moreover offer the flexibility to receive energy when it is available, thereby allowing the effective integration of renewables in the energy system during the entire year

    .Integrating buildings in the EU ETS is complex and time-consuming. Urgent action on buildings is vital to overcome the climate and social crises facing Europe today. Integrating the building sector in the EU ETS is complex and likely to take at least several years. That is time we do not have, and which diverts attention from more effective short-term measures. The EU should instead prioritize a Green Deal for housing to unlock vast investments for building renovations, while creating local jobs and more energy-efficient and affordable housing.

    What is the EU ETS? The EUETS sets a cap on the total amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted by installations from the power, industry and aviation sectors. The cap is reduced over time so that emissions go down. Within the cap, companies receive or buy emission allowances which they can trade with each other, thereby creating a carbon price. The building sector is already covered by a cap on how much greenhouse gases can be emitted as part of the Effort Sharing Regulation; the EU’s other climate legislation targeting sectors not included in the EU ETS.

    Carbon pricing does not deliver more affordable, energy-efficient homes. According to the International Energy Agency2, most of the energy efficiency potential is available at a negative cost. This means that these efficiency measures already pay for themselves, even in the absence of a carbon price. The reasons why these measures, such as energy renovation, are not taken are usually not economic in nature, but rather the result of market-barriers and -imperfections. In the case of the building sector, these barriers include split incentives between those making investments (i.e. home-owners) and those paying energy bills (i.e. tenants), the inability to come up with high upfront costs and a lack of information on renovation opportunities and financing options. Including the building sector in the EU ETS would do nothing to overcome these barriers to make buildings more energy-efficient. Even worse, the introduction of a carbon price for the heating and cooling of buildings could lead to higher energy bills for tenants or homeowners who are not able to, or cannot afford to, renovate their homes.

    Governments should remain responsible for the built environment. Extending the EU ETS to buildings would mean that governments are no longer accountable for introducing measures to decarbonise the building stock under the Effort Sharing legislation. Under the Effort Sharing Regulation, each Member State has annual climate targets that it needs to meet. By integrating buildings in the EU ETS, the sector would be taken out of the Effort Sharing Regulation, putting the responsibility of climate action instead on heating fuel suppliers. The integration of the building sector in the EU ETS could lead to the dismantling or shying away from more effective EU and national energy efficiency legislation, under the pretext that this would undermine the functioning of the carbon market. This would be dangerous as the decarbonisation of the building stock requires dedicated policies beyond a carbon price. It is up to governments to put in place programmes to accelerate renovation, to introduce minimum energy performance standards for buildings and to prioritize measures to alleviate energy poverty. These actions will not happen through the EU ETS, but by policymakers taking ownership of the transition to a climate-neutral built environment.

    Green Deal for housing should be a key priority for Europe. Without urgent and accelerated action to renovate up to 97% of the European building stock by 2050, it will be impossible to meet the EU’s climate objectives. Fortunately, buildings’ operational emissions can be cut by 100%, mostly by using already commercially available solutions such as insulation. Including the building sector in the EU ETS distracts from taking effective measures to overcome the main barriers hampering the renovation of the EU building stock and the alleviation of energy poverty. The EU instead needs to put in place an enabling framework to ensure that the worst energy performing buildings are phased out over time, to guarantee quality homes for people and clear a pathway to climate-neutrality. The European Green Deal presents a perfect opportunity to deliver on comfortable, affordable and energy-efficient housing. This Green Deal can help unlock 130 billion euro per year to fill the investment gap for energy-efficient buildings3. Over 2 million jobs in Europe could be created throughsuch investments in energy efficiency –in particular in the deep renovation of buildings4. (Source:EURIMA - European Insulation Manufacturers Association, Nov., 2019) Contact: EURIMA, Femke de Jong, femke.dejong@eurima.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency news,  Insulation news,  

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Insulation,  

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