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Strengthening the European Union Climate and Energy Package - To build a low carbon, competitive and energy secure European Union

Studies N°04/2011. Iddri, 2011. 40 p.

Un article publié dans un premier temps (en juin 2011) en co-édition avec Climate strategies sous le format d'un rapport de synthèse sur le passage de 20 à 30 % de réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre (GES) en Europe d'ici 2020.

Points-clés [en anglais] :

ASSESSMENT: THE NECESSARY MOVE TO A 30% EMISSIONS REDUCTION TARGET

Immediate action to strengthen the European Union Climate and Energy Package (EU CEP) is needed to ensure Europe’s sustained growth, competitiveness and energy security. Indeed, the current 20% emissions reduction target is too low to reach the European long-term goal of reducing emissions by at least 80% by 2050 at acceptable costs. But the EU CEP is also inefficient to address sustainably potential competitiveness losses and carbon leakages in some carbon intensive industries, and most importantly to boost fully the competitiveness of firms producing low-carbon products and services. Moving to 30% by 2020 could induce significant long-term GDP gains and only marginal GDP short-term costs, increase the competitiveness of European firms producing innovative low-carbon technologies, and reduce both final energy consumption and EU energy dependency. But for these objectives to be met, the contents of policies to reach this 30% target is as important as the target itself.

RECOMMENDATIONS: STRUCTURAL AND SECTORAL POLICIES

There are three main areas in which the EU CEP needs strengthening:

(1) Improvement of the energy efficiency of the existing building stocks, and limitation of the absolute level of energy consumption in the transport sector are needed to reach the 20% energy efficiency target. Binding targets should only be used when absolutely necessary and when helpful.

(2) From an economic, environmental and political perspective, setting a stringent European Union Emission Trading System (EU ETS) 2030 cap between -45 and -50% from 2005 levels is probably the most relevant, efficient, and realistic option in the short term. It would increase the predictability of the carbon price signal, and therefore the credibility of the regulator. Banking would ensure that this stringent mid-term target translates into a short-term increase of the carbon price.

(3) In some cases, direct public financial support is justified and efficient: to overcome market failures and non-market barriers; to support innovation in low-carbon goods and services; to support infrastructure upgrades and expansion; and to ensure equity in the allocation of responsibility to poorer States. Under a 30% target, auctioning revenues would be around € 200 – 310 billion. These revenues accrue to Member States and given their scale and the public deficits they will not solely be used for climate change purposes. But they could be pivotal to support the transition towards a low-carbon Europe.

>> La page consacrée au rapport publié en juin 2011