The European Commission aims to make hydrogen a crucial part of becoming climate-neutral, proposing a massive scale up in the short term, but needs to focus early enough on hydrogen produced with renewable electricity, the only hydrogen able to deliver the needed climate benefits in hard to decarbonise sectors. The Hydrogen and the Energy System Integration Strategies revealed today rely on the use of fossil gas up to 2050 and “cleaning the gas sector” as stated by Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson at the press conference this morning without giving a clear end date for fossil gas use. This is in stark contrast with the need to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C and avoid dangerous climate change.
The Committee for regional development of the European Parliament has adopted its position on the Just Transition Fund. By allowing the fund to finance fossil gas, they set the Parliament up against the European Commission and the Council, while diverting away from earlier European Parliament's decisions to end fossil fuel subsidies.
Offshore wind plays a key role in the energy transition to limit temperature rise to 1.5° as stated in the Paris Agreement. The North Seas Countries, including Germany, and the European Commission met today to discuss how to improve planning and cooperation to ensure offshore wind is deployed in a timely and consistent manner.
The European grid operators ENTSO-E and ENTSOG have updated their scenarios for the Ten Year Network Development Plan 2020. CAN Europe welcomes that the grid operators improved transparency of their scenario building, however, while we are in a climate emergency and the European Commission plans to increase the EU climate targets, these scenarios are still trapped in an old energy world.
The European Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development (REGI) is voting on the EU Just Transition Fund - which aims to support EU regions in their transition to climate neutrality - on 6 July. They have the chance to follow the EU Council, which last week agreed to fully exclude fossil fuels from funding. The Parliament voted to exclude fossil fuels from EU regional funds in March 2019. Yet despite this, there is a potential unholy alliance between the ECR, EPP and Renew to push for a big loophole which would allow some gas power and infrastructure to get funding.
European civil society organisations map out the first-ever NGO-led energy scenario based on 100% renewable energy and looking at reducing carbon emissions by at least 65% by 2030. The analysis corroborates existing evidence, showing that Europe can achieve climate neutrality by 2040 - a decade before the 2050 target - and lead the rest of the world in the energy transition.
Yesterday the Council agreed to exclude all fossil fuel activities, including fossil gas, from the scope of the Just Transition Fund, a financial mechanism meant to support EU regions that currently rely the most on fossil fuels in their just transition towards climate neutrality.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that the European Union should align its short-term recovery objectives with the long-term climate goal by investing in energy efficiency and clean energy infrastructure to see greenhouse gas emissions further decline. These are some of the key recommendations put forward in IEA’s quinquennial report “European Union 2020 - Energy Policy Review” issued this morning.
Today EU environment ministers have met to discuss the contribution of environmental and climate policies to the recovery from COVID-19, with a focus on circular economy.
Ministers overwhelmingly acknowledged the crisis requires a rethink of our production and consumption patterns, but more consistency and synergies between climate and environment policies are needed to ensure the industry sector fully taps into the emission reductions potential of a circular economy. Some also reiterated their support for the EU to agree to a 2030 climate target of at least 55% emission cuts this year.
At today’s 22nd bilateral EU-China Summit, the EU and China have committed to develop economic stimuli that address both the economic and the climate crises. They have also reaffirmed their commitments to the implementation of the Paris Agreement, through closer partnership on climate action and the clean energy transition.