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The 2030 EU Climate and Energy Package: why and how?

Policy Briefs N°16/2013. Iddri, 2013. 15 p.

Depuis plusieurs semaines qui ont précédé la publication récente par la Commission européenne de sa proposition pour un paquet énergie-climat à l'horizon 2030, l'Iddri a engagé une réflexion sur le contexte et le contenu possible et souhaitable de ce paquet. Dans le cadre de ces travaux, plusieurs Policy Briefs ont été écrits fin 2013-début 2014, sur :

L'Iddri va poursuivre ce travail dans les mois qui viennent : plusieurs publications sont d'ores et déjà planifiées, sur le gaz de schiste dans les politiques climatiques et industrielles européennes, la compatibilité des échelons national et européen dans les stratégies de politiques climatiques, et les questions de financement liées à l'efficacité énergétique.

L'Iddri conduira parallèlement une série de dialogues de haut niveau avec différents gouvernements et acteurs sur l'évolution du paquet 2030.

Points clés [en anglais] :

  • WE STILL HAVE A PROBLEM – THE RATIONALE FOR ENERGY AND CLIMATE POLICY

It is not surprising that in difficult economic times a long-term issue like climate policy has slipped down the agenda. However, Europe still has fundamental challenges to face in this regard. The IPCC’s 5th assessment report underscored again the urgency of action on climate change. Europe will need to prepare its position for the crucial 2015 climate change negotiations hosted by France. Moreover, Europe’s energy sector is in dire need of long-term orientations. Europe’s fuel bill is a significant weight on its economy; the weight of evidence suggests that Europe will not replicate the US shale gas revolution. It is also important not to exaggerate the importance of the US shale revolution for competiveness and economic performance. Europe will need to develop its own collective, competitive solutions.

  • THREE THOUGHT EXPERIMENTS ON THE DESIGN OF THE EU CLIMATE AND ENERGY PACKAGE

In comparison with 2008, there is significant divergence in Member States’ vision for the 2030 climate and energy package. Some want renewables targets, others don’t. Neither the Commission nor Member States are yet ready to address energy efficiency in the new package. And so on. This article conducts three thought experiments, thinking through three radically different designs for the 2030 package. These are a CO2 only package, an innovation package, or a subsidiarity package. These reflections lead to the conclusion that a combination of elements is needed. Firstly, carbon pricing via the EU ETS should remain a central pillar, and be reinforced. Secondly, technology deployment objectives remain necessary: the key question should be what kind of targets and how to negotiate them, not whether. Finally, there is a need to build flexibility into the new package, in order to take into account the diversity of Member States’ circumstances and preferences.