The European Commission has published its ‘Reflection paper on the future of EU finances’ on 28 June, the last of five policy papers within the so called “White paper process on the future of Europe”. With this paper , the European Commission puts down its thinking on the EU budget priorities and structures according to the five different scenarios for the future of Europe, presented by the Juncker commission in March this year on the occasion of the Rome summit.
Just a few weeks before Brussels winds down for the Summer, an agreement has been reached on a multi billion euro EU fund which aims at driving more private investment in development – the so-called EU External Investment Plan (EIP).
A recently published study by energy consultancies Ecofys and TÜ Wien, commissioned by EREF, the European Federation of Renewable Energies Producers, derives national target benchmarks for a more ambitious EU renewables target and analyses the positive effect of increased energy efficiency on the effort required to meet the 2030 renewables target.
What’s the situation?
On Tuesday, 27 June, representatives of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission met for their second trilogue meeting to discuss diverging positions on the reform of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). There has been little progress as discussions mainly focused on addressing outcomes of technical working group meetings and more controversial topics are most likely tackled at the next trilogue around 10 July.
This is the second update on a key discussion on the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR). Following the Parliament's vote on 14 June, EU Ministers discussed proposals in the Environment Council on 19 June 2017. You can get an update on the Parliament vote here.
Unfortunately the debate was not constructive. There was a lack of progress on increasing the ambition of the Commission's proposal and the Council did not agree on its position. Instead as requested by the Maltese presidency Ministers focused on giving their opinion on the proposed 'safety reserve' - a proposal to allow member states to carry over a glut of worthless “hot air” carbon credits from previous years. It seems very likely that this will from now on be part of the Council's text. You can read more on the safety reserve in Transport and Environment’s set of FAQs. You can read CAN Europe’s statement on the discussion here.
This is the first in a series of two blog posts on key discussions in the Parliament and the Council on the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR). You can get an update on the Council's negotiations here.
On 14 June 2017 the European Parliament voted on the revision of the 'Climate Action Regulation implementing the Paris Agreement' (the ESR), which covers emissions from transport, waste, buildings and agriculture for the coming decade.
A monthly update on policy development, campaigning and communications
Today, civil society organisations in 13 countries have sent open letters to their Ministers, urging them to boost ambition of their proposal for the EU’s largest climate tool, the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR). As EU leaders reaffirmed their full support for the Paris Agreement last week in response to the US retreat, the ESR negotiations are a good litmus test of their commitment.
It looks like the US is leaving the Paris Agreement!
When writing this President Trump has just confirmed that he will announce his decision weather or not to stay in the Paris Agreement tonight at 21.00 CET.
Unnamed sources from the White House have consistently indicated that Trump would be intending to leave the Agreement, and that only the details how to do it are open at the moment. Legally the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement takes years and cannot happen before November 2020. A faster route to leave the Paris Agreement would be to withdraw from the UN Climate Convention which can be done in one year, and would also result the US to leave the Paris Agreement simultaneously.
On 29 May 2017 Serbia ratified the Paris Agreement. Unfortunately, in the same time, the Government put out a draft of the national Energy Strategy Implementation Plan, prioritising new coal project and foreseeing further exploration of coal deposits in the country. National NGOs will be fighting these plans in the coming months.