Produced in partnership with Laura Bolado of Andes Legal Consulting Ltd
2030 Climate and Energy Framework
Entry into Force
EU Environmental Law, Climate targets, Climate change
The 2030 Climate and Energy Framework set three key targets for the year 2030:
- at least 40% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels
- at least 27% share for renewable energy
- at least 27% improvement in energy efficiency
In 2018, these targets were revised under the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package (the Clean Energy Package) as follows:
- at least 45% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels
- at least 32% share for renewable energy
- at least 32.5% improvement in energy efficiency
The 2030 framework was designed in line with the longer term perspective in the Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050, the Energy Road Map 2050 and the Transport White Paper.
These targets have since been revised again under the European Green Deal published in December 2019, the European Commission’s ‘Roadmap’ for moving to a climate neutral economy by 2050. Included in this comprehensive policy document were commitments to review, and where necessary propose to revise, all relevant policy instruments to achieve the additional emissions reductions required to make the EU a zero-emission continent by the mid-century.
In line with these commitments, in July 2021 the European Climate Law (Regulation (EU) 2021/1119), which enshrines into law a commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 as well as an interim target of at least 55% less emissions by 2050, was published in the Official Journal. Also in July 2021, the Commission published a batch of legislative proposals as part of what is known as the ‘Fit for 55’ package–referring to the EU’s 2030 emissions reduction target. This package includes proposals for revisions of the Renewable Energy Directive and the Energy Efficiency Directive to align them with the EU’s increased climate ambitions.
Towards a 2030 framework
The EU had a clear framework for its energy and climate policies up to 2020 which integrated different policy objectives namely:
- reducing greenhouse gas emissions
- securing energy supply and
- supporting growth competitiveness and jobs through a high technology cost effective and resource efficient approach
These objectives were delivered by three headline targets for emissions reductions, renewable energy and energy savings and additional targets for energy used by the transport sector. In parallel, the EU put in place a regulatory framework to drive the creation of an open, integrated and competitive single market for energy which promotes the security of energy supplies (ie EU Energy Union).
While good progress towards meeting the 2020 targets, creating the internal market for energy and achieving other energy policy objectives was being made, in 2013 the EU decided it was time to reflect on a new 2030 framework for climate and energy policies.
Some reasons behind this were that clarifying the objectives for 2030 would support progress towards a competitive economy and a secure energy system by creating more demand for efficient and low-carbon technologies and spurring research, development and innovation (which can create new opportunities for jobs and growth) and that an international agreement on climate change was expected by the end of 2015. Therefore, the EU had to agree on a series of issues, including its own ambition level, in advance of that date in order to engage actively with other countries.
With the 20–20–20 Climate and Energy package, translated into EU legislation in 2009, the EU set itself three targets to be attained by 2020 for greenhouse gas emissions reductions (20%), the share of renewable energy (20%) and improvements in energy efficiency (20%). The Commission expressed in early 2014 in its Communication 'A policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030' that energy and climate policies proved to be delivering substantial progress towards those targets. However, the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS) was not driving investments in low-carbon technologies sufficiently well.
In 2016, the European Commission issued a press release stating that the EU was well on track to meet its 2020 emissions reduction target and an assessment of progress by EU Member States to meeting 2020 targets, stating that the 28 Member States were well on their way to meeting their 2020 targets on renewables, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions. In early 2017, the Second State of the Energy Union report also highlighted good progress on delivering energy objectives. The Third State of the Energy Union report also found good progress. By 2017, the EU had reduced its emissions by almost 22% compared to 1990, reaching its 2020 emission reduction target three years ahead of schedule. For more information, see: LNB News 08/11/2016 161, LNB News 01/12/2016 79, LNB News 01/02/2017 104, LNB News 24/11/2017 63 and News Analysis: From delivery to implementation—the state of the Energy Union.
It was noted that the key elements of a new 2030 climate and energy framework should comprise a new greenhouse gas reduction target at EU level, an ETS reform, an EU target for the share of renewable energy and a new EU governance process for energy and climate policies with energy efficiency playing a significant role in delivering those objectives.
As such, the Commission proposed to base the 2030 policy framework on the full implementation of the 20/20/20 targets plus:
- an ambitious commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the 2050 Roadmaps
- simplification of the EU policy framework while improving complementarities and coherence between objectives and instruments
- providing flexibility for Member States to define a low-carbon transition appropriate to their specific circumstances, preferred energy mix and needs in terms of energy security and allowing them to keep costs to a minimum
- strengthening regional cooperation between Member States to help them meet common energy and climate challenges more cost-effectively while furthering market integration and preventing market distortion
- strengthening the development of renewables with a policy based on a more cost-efficient approach that reinforces the EU dimension (with further integration of the internal energy market and undistorted competition at its core)
- improving energy security, while delivering a low-carbon and competitive energy system, through common action, integrated markets, import diversification, sustainable development of indigenous energy sources, investment in the necessary infrastructure, end-use energy savings and support for research and innovation
- enhancing investor certainty by providing clear signals on how the policy framework would change after 2020 and ensuring that substantial changes to existing objectives and instruments did not take effect before that date
- fair efforts sharing between Member States based on their specific circumstances and capacities
The EU agreed a climate and energy framework for 2030 at the European Council meeting of October 2014.
Clean energy for all Europeans package
In late 2016, the EU launched a revision of its energy policy framework. By the end of 2018 negotiations were concluded on all aspects of the Clean Energy Package that includes eight different legislative texts:
- Energy Performance in Buildings Directive 2018/844/EU
- Renewable Energy Directive 2018/2001/EU
- Energy Efficiency Directive 2018/2002/EU
- Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action Regulation 2018/1999
- Electricity Market Directive 2019/944
- Electricity Market Regulation 2019/943
- Risk Preparedness Regulation 2019/941
- Rules for the Energy Regulator (Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators ACER), Regulation 2019/942
The new policy framework intended to bring regulatory certainty, in particular through the introduction of the first national energy and climate plans. It aimed to also encourage investment in the energy sector. The Clean Energy Package introduced two new targets for the EU for 2030, a binding renewable energy target of at least 32% and an energy efficiency target of at least 32.5%—with a possible upward revision in 2023. When these policies are fully implemented, they will lead to greater emission reductions for the whole EU than anticipated 45% by 2030 relative to 1990 (compared to the previous target of 40%). The framework also set up a robust governance system for the Energy Union, and each Member State is now required to draft integrated national energy and climate plans for 2021 to 2030 outlining how they will achieve their respective targets. For more information, see: Commission welcomes European Parliament adoption of key files of the Clean Energy for All Europeans package, Clean energy for All Europeans.
In January 2019, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published the first draft integrated national energy and climate plan for the UK. For more information, see News Analysis: Exploring the UK draft national energy and climate plan. In line with the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK submitted and published its final integrated National Energy and Climate Plan as per 31 January 2020 on 7 June 2021. It sets out BEIS’s integrated climate and energy objectives, targets, policies and measures and has been superseded by the Energy white paper. In accordance with the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, this is the final NECP the UK will publish. As the UK is no longer a Member State, its performance in the areas of energy and climate change no longer contributes towards EU targets.
Also in 2019, the Commission issued its assessment on the NECP including commentary on the post-Brexit era.
For further information, see Practice Note: Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU—snapshot.
The Commission's 2019 assessment of the progress made by Member States towards the national energy efficiency targets for 2020 and towards the implementation of the Energy Efficiency Directive commented on a delivery gap between the 32.5% energy efficiency target for 2030 and the cumulative ambition of Member States outlined in their respective national energy and climate plans.
On 17 September 2020, the Commission issued an assessment of Member States’ national energy and climate plans for 2021–30, which reveals that the EU is on track to surpass its current 2030 emissions reduction target of at least 40%. The assessment was made in a post-COVID-19 recovery context.
The 2020 State of the Energy Union report includes individual assessments of the 27 national energy and climate plans and analyses the pathway and ambition of each Member State towards the current 2030 climate and energy targets. The overall assessment shows that the Member States are capable of meeting these targets and are mostly making good progress towards them.
Key elements of the framework
The key elements of the framework are:
- a greenhouse gas reduction target consisting of binding national targets
- a reform of the EU ETS
- an EU target for the share of renewable energy and energy efficiency
- a fully functioning and connected internal energy market and a new EU governance process for energy and climate policies
A) Greenhouse gas emissions reduction
The reduction target for domestic greenhouse gas emissions agreed was 40% compared to 1990 shared between the ETS and non-ETS sectors. However, as result of the Clean Energy Package full implementation a reduction of 45% seems achievable. It will be delivered collectively by the EU in the most cost-effective manner possible, with reductions in ETS and non-ETS sectors amounting to 43% and 30% by 2030 compared to 2005, respectively, and all Member States will participate balancing considerations of fairness and solidarity.
A well-functioning reformed ETS with an instrument to stabilise the market will be the main EU tool to achieve the target. Further, the annual factor to reduce the cap on the maximum permitted emissions will change from 1.74% to 2.2% from 2021 onwards; the free allocation will not expire and existing measures will continue after 2020 to prevent the risk of carbon leakage due to climate policy, as long as no comparable efforts are undertaken in other major economies, with the objective of providing appropriate levels of support for sectors at risk of losing international competitiveness. The benchmarks for free allocations will be periodically reviewed in line with technological progress in the respective industry sectors.
Member States with a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita below 60% of the EU average may opt to continue to give free allowances to the energy sector up to 2030; 10% of the ETS allowances to be auctioned by the Member States will be distributed among those countries whose GDP per capita did not exceed 90% of the EU average (in 2013), etc.
For non-ETS sectors the methodology to set the national targets, with all the elements as applied in the Effort Sharing Decision for 2020, will continue until 2030, with efforts distributed on the basis of relative GDP per capita. All Member States will contribute to the overall EU reduction in 2030 with the targets spanning from 0% to 40% compared to 2005; the availability and use of existing flexibility instruments within the non-ETS sectors will be significantly enhanced to ensure cost-effectiveness of the collective EU effort and convergence of emissions per capita by 2030.
The Commission had to assess instruments and measures for a comprehensive and technology neutral approach for the promotion of emissions reduction and energy efficiency in transport, for electric transportation and for renewable energy sources in transport also after 2020 and, develop policy on how to include land use, land use change and forestry into the 2030 greenhouse gas mitigation framework before 2020.
Consultations on a legislative proposal on Member States' effort to reduce their GHG emissions to meet the EU's GHG emission reduction commitment in a 2030 perspective and on the integration of agriculture, forestry and other land use into the 2030 EU climate and energy policy framework were launched in March 2015, both closed in June 2015. Legislative proposals followed.
Legislative proposals to revise the EU ETS for the period after 2020 and on how to integrate land use, land use change and forestry into the 2030 framework were presented in 2016 alongside the Factsheet on the Commission's proposal on binding greenhouse gas emission reductions for Member States (2021–30) that explained the progress in greenhouse emissions reduction and discussed existing proposals.
Both consultations closed in June 2015.
In addition, a proposal for an Effort Sharing Regulation was put forward. The Effort Sharing Regulation 2018/842 of May 2018, is the follow up to the Effort Sharing Decision. See Practice Note: Effort Sharing Decision (ESD) 2009/406/EC—snapshot. In December 2020, Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2020/2126 set out the annual emission allocations of the Member States for the period 2021–30 pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2018/842.
On 13 October 2017, the Environment Council agreed its position on the proposal for the Effort Sharing Regulation and on the proposal for integrating and use, land use-change and forestry (LULUCF) into the 2030 framework. The latter sets a binding commitment for each Member State to ensure that accounted emissions from LULUCF are entirely compensated by an equivalent removal of CO2 from the atmosphere through action in the sector, known as the ‘no debit rule’. Some flexibility is provided for Member States. If a Member State has net emissions from LULUCF, they can use allocations from the Effort Sharing Regulation, to satisfy the ‘no debit rule’. Soon after negotiations began with the European Parliament.
The agreed texts were approved by the European Parliament at the April 2018 plenary session.
The regulation on the inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry in the 2030 climate and energy framework and the regulation on binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions by Member States from 2021 to 2030 contributing to climate action to meet commitments under the Paris Agreement were both subsequently published in May 2018. For further information, see: LNB News 19/06/2018 44.
Meanwhile, in November 2017 the Council of the EU announced the endorsement of the provisional deal reached between the Estonian presidency and the European Parliament on the reform of the EU ETS for the period after 2020 (Phase IV of EU ETS). The agreed text was approved by the European Parliament on 6 February 2018 and formally approved by the Council shortly after concluding the legislative process. Directive 2018/410 was published in the Official Journal on 14 March 2018 and entered into force on 3 April 2018.
The revision strengthens the EU ETS through the introduction of:
- a cap on the total volume of emissions which will be reduced annually by 2.2% (linear reduction factor)
- double the number of allowances to be placed in the market stability reserve (MSR) until the end of 2023 (feeding rate)
- a new mechanism to limit the validity of allowances in the MSR above a certain level which will become operational in 2023
In December 2019, the Commission published ‘The European Green Deal’, described as ‘a Roadmap for making the EU’s economy sustainable by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities across all policy areas and making the transition just and inclusive for all’. The European Green Deal sets out over-arching objectives which will inform EU legislation and policy going forwards, including achieving climate neutrality by 2050. In July 2021, the European Climate Law came into force, enshrining into law the EU’s new climate targets of at least 55% less emissions relative to 1990 levels by 2030, and net zero emissions by 2050. For more information on the European Climate Law, see Practice Note: The Climate neutrality regulation (EU)—snapshot.
Following the Commission’s assessment of Member State national energy and climate plans for 2021–30, which revealed that the EU is on track to surpass its pre-European Green Deal target of at least a 40% reduction in emissions, the Commission held that the increased targets are realistic.
On 17 September 2020, the Commission adopted the 2030 Climate Target Plan, setting out how ‘all sectors of the economy and society’ can contribute to the EU’s increased emissions reduction targets. For more information, see Practice Note: The European Green Deal—tracker and News Analysis: The European Green Deal—a clear vision for EU climate change action?
The following legislative proposals have also been published under the Green Deal programme, as part of the Commission’s commitment to reviewing all relevant policy instruments to achieve the additional emission reductions for climate neutrality by 2050, to measure progress and give predictability to public authorities, businesses and citizens:
- a proposal for the establishment of a carbon border adjustment mechanism
- a revision of the Energy Taxation Directive
- a recast Directive on energy efficiency
- an amendment to the Renewable Energy Directive
- a proposal for a directive to revise the EU ETS
- an amendment to the Regulation setting CO2 emission standards for cars and vans
- a proposal for a Regulation on the use of renewable and low-carbon fuels in maritime transport and amending Directive 2009/16/EC (FuelEU Maritime Initiative)
- a proposal for a Regulation on ensuring a level playing field for sustainable air transport (the ReFuelEU Aviation Initiative)
- an amendment to the Effort Sharing Regulation
- a revision of the Regulation on land use, forestry and agriculture
- a revision of the Alterative Fuels Infrastructure Directive
For more information on the development of these initiatives, see Practice Note: The European Green Deal—tracker—‘Transformative’ policy measures announced in the Green Deal.
B) Renewables and energy efficiency
An EU binding target of at least 27% was set for the share of renewable energy consumed in the EU in 2030. It will be fulfilled through Member States contributions guided by the need to deliver collectively the EU target without preventing Member States from setting their own more ambitious national targets and supporting them, in line with State aid guidelines, as well as taking into account their degree of integration in the internal energy market.
An indicative EU target of at least 27% was set for improving energy efficiency in 2030 compared to projections of future energy consumption based on existing criteria. It will be delivered in a cost-effective manner and will fully respect the effectiveness of the ETS-system in contributing to the overall climate goals. This would be reviewed by 2020, having in mind an EU level of 30% when the Commission would propose priority sectors in which significant energy-efficiency gains can be reaped. As well as ways to address them at EU level, with the EU and the Member States focusing their regulatory and financial efforts on these sectors. The targets will be achieved while fully respecting the Member States' freedom to determine their energy mix. There will be no national binding targets as Member States are free to set their own higher national targets.
The EU needs to continue to complement national efforts with ambitious EU-wide energy efficiency standards for appliances, equipment, buildings and CO2 standards for vehicles.
In the context of energy efficiency, progress was being delivered by specific policy measures at EU and national levels including for domestic and industrial appliances, vehicles, and for the building stock. While the transposition deadline for the Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU was June 2014, an assessment was requested by the Council of the EU and Parliament by mid-2014 (Commission Communication 'Energy Efficiency and its contribution to energy security and the 2030 Framework for climate and energy policy' of July 2014). The assessment looked at the progress made towards reaching the 2020 target. A shortfall against the 20% target was predicted. A review of the Directive was then launched in late 2015. The Commission assessed the responses and considered it was necessary to amend the Directive as part of the 'Clean Energy for All package' of legislative and policy measures which it presented in late November 2016 (see Practice Note: Clean Energy Package—Snapshot). The proposals covered energy efficiency, renewable energy, the design of the electricity market, security of energy supply and governance rules for the Energy Union. See latest consolidated version of Directive 2012/27 of January 2021.
In the context of renewables, a new Renewable Energy Directive, RED II (see Practice Note: Background to Renewable Energy Directive 2018/2001/EC) that would repeal the Renewable Energy Directive with effect from 1 January 2021 was proposed.
In January 2018, the European Parliament endorsed amendments to the proposal for an amendment to the Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU and for a new Renewable Energy Directive (RED II):
- an increased energy efficiency target of 35%
- a new binding target to reduce energy consumption by 40% by 2030 at EU level. Each Member State will have to set its own national energy-efficiency targets that are needed to reach the overall goal of 40% reduction in energy consumption. These would cover all stages of the energy chain, including generation, transmission, distribution and end-use
- that by 2030, a minimum of 35% of all energy consumed in the EU would need to come from renewable, cleaner sources
On 13 November 2018, the European Parliament completed the parliamentary approval of four of these proposals, including a proposed new Directive on energy efficiency. Directive (EU) 2018/2002 amending Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency came into force on 24 December 2018. It sets a 2030 energy efficiency target of 32.5%, with a possible upward revision in 2023. The 32.5 % target for 2030 translated into final energy consumption of 956 Mtoe and/or primary energy consumption of 1,273 Mtoe in the EU-28 in 2030 but was amended in light of Brexit. For more information, see Practice Note: Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU—snapshot and for Brexit impact see end of the note.
On 21 December 2018, Directive (EU) 2018/2001 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (recast) was published. It sets a binding EU target for the overall share of energy from renewable sources in the EU’s gross final consumption of energy in 2030. It also lays down rules on financial support for electricity from renewable sources, on self-consumption of such electricity, on the use of energy from renewable sources in the heating and cooling sector and in the transport sector, on regional co-operation between Member States, and on administrative procedures. It also establishes sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions saving criteria for biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels. For more information, see Practice Note: Background to Renewable Energy Directive 2018/2001/EC.
The European Green Deal emphasises the need to prioritise energy efficiency so that it sufficiently contributes to achieving the higher EU climate ambition at level of at least 50% towards 55 % in a responsible way by 2030. Thus, the Commission has committed itself to review and revise, if necessary, the Energy Efficiency Directive in order to enable the achievement of a higher EU climate target for 2030. Following consultation, on 14 July 2021 the Commission published proposals for a revised Energy Efficiency Directive and an amendment to RED II. For more information on these developments under the European Green Deal, see News Analysis: EU boosts 2030 renewable energy goal, tightens rules for biomass, industry and Practice Note: The European Green Deal—tracker—‘Transformative’ policy measures announced in the Green Deal.
C) Achieving a fully functioning and connected internal energy market
A fully functioning and connected internal energy market is of fundamental importance and as such all efforts must be mobilised to achieve this objective as a matter of urgency. Preventing inadequate interconnections of Member States with the European gas and electricity networks and ensuring synchronous operation of Member States within the European Continental Networks as foreseen in the European Energy Security Strategy will also remain a priority after 2020 (for more information, see here). In that context:
- the Commission would take urgent measures to ensure the achievement of a minimum target of 10% of existing electricity interconnections by 2020 at least for Member States which had not yet attained a minimum level of integration in the internal energy market (the Baltic States, Portugal and Spain) and for Member States which constitute their main point of access to the internal energy market. It will also monitor progress and report to the European Council on all possible sources of financing including the possibilities of EU financing to ensure the 10% target is met as full participation of all Member States in the internal energy market must be ensured
- Member States and the Commission would facilitate the implementation of projects of common interest including those identified in the European Energy Security Strategy which link in particular the Baltic States, Spain and Portugal to the rest of the internal energy market, ensure that they have the highest priority and were completed by 2020. Special attention to be paid to the more remote and/or less well-connected parts of the single market such as Malta, Cyprus and Greece
- where the implementation of these projects will not suffice to reach the 10% target, new projects would be identified, added as a matter of priority in the upcoming review of the list of projects of common interest and swiftly implemented. EU co-financing must be available for these projects
The 2019 European Green Deal recognises a ‘fully integrated’ and interconnected European energy market as essential to achieving the target of climate neutrality by 2050 and includes commitments to increase cross-border and regional cooperation and review of the regulatory framework for energy infrastructure. For more information, see Practice Note: The European Green Deal—tracker.
D) Energy security
Further actions to reduce the EU's energy dependency and increase energy security for both electricity and gas were endorsed by the European Council. Moderating energy demand through enhanced energy efficiency will also contribute to this objective. The Commission Communication ‘A Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward Looking Climate Change Policy’ which provided a complete picture of the robustness of Europe's energy system was welcomed as were the contributions from all Member States, key energy players, neighbour countries and partners. It was also recognised that the EU's energy security can be increased by having recourse to indigenous resources as well as safe and sustainable low carbon technologies. As such, the EU will:
- implement critical projects of common interest in the gas sector (North South corridor, Southern Gas Corridor) and the promotion of a new gas hub in Southern Europe as well as the key infrastructure projects enhancing Finland's and the Baltic States' energy security, to ensure diversification of energy suppliers and routes and ensure market functioning
- improve the use of regasification and storage capacity in the gas system to better tackle emergency situations
- intensify its support to ensure better coordination of efforts to complete critical projects of common interest and to develop targeted actions such as technical advice or the setting-up of multilateral task forces on specific interconnectors with the relevant Member States to swiftly resolve problems in implementation
- further develop a policy on protection of critical energy infrastructure
- make full use of the Decision establishing an information exchange mechanism with regard to intergovernmental agreements between Member States and third countries in the field of energy, in particular as regards standard provisions and the Commission's assistance in the negotiations
- encourage Member States and involved companies to provide relevant information to the Commission and seek support throughout negotiations, including on ex-ante assessment of intergovernmental agreements' compatibility with EU legislation and its energy security priorities
- further strengthen the Energy Community to expand the EU's energy acquisition to enlargement and neighbour countries
- use EU and Member States foreign policy instruments to convey consistent messages related to energy security, in particular to strategic partners and major energy suppliers
In February 2016, the Commission presented its Energy Security package which comprised: the Security of Gas Supply Regulation (now Regulation (EU) 2017/1938), the Decision on Intergovernmental Agreements in energy and the Liquefied natural gas (LNG) (now Decision (EU) 2017/684) and the gas storage strategy. See more here.
A reliable and transparent governance system without any unnecessary administrative burden will be developed to help ensure the EU meets its energy policy goals, with the necessary flexibility for Member States and fully respecting their freedom to determine their energy mix. The system will:
- build on the existing structure such as national climate programmes, national plans for renewable energy and energy efficiency and separate planning and reporting strands will be streamlined and brought together
- step up the role and rights of consumers, transparency and predictability for investors, inter alia by systematic monitoring of key indicators for an affordable, safe, competitive, secure and sustainable energy system
- facilitate coordination of national energy policies and foster regional cooperation between Member States
In November 2015, the Council of the EU adopted conclusions on the future governance system and asked the Commission to develop, in close cooperation with the Member States, a set of vital policy documents to make the system a reality in the not so distant future.
The framework aligns the frequency and timing of reporting obligations across the Energy Union and with the Paris Climate Agreement, enhancing transparency and reducing the administrative burden for the Member States, the Commission and other EU Institutions. The framework also sets up a robust governance system for the Energy Union, and each Member State is now required to draft integrated national energy and climate plans for 2021 to 2030 outlining how they will achieve their respective targets.
Finally, it puts in place a simplified and transparent governance for the Energy Union which promotes long-term certainty and predictability for investors and ensures that EU and Member States can work together towards achieving the 2030 targets and the EU's international commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Regulation EU 2018/1999 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate action was published on 21 December 2018 and came into force three days later. The governance mechanism is based on long-term strategies, integrated national energy and climate plans covering ten-year periods starting from 2021 to 2030, corresponding integrated national energy and climate progress reports by Member States and integrated monitoring arrangements by the Commission. For more information, see: LNB News 21/12/2018 28.
The Commission’s Roadmap on RED II revision (referred to above) stated that in 2020 the Commission would assess the final integrated National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) under the Governance Regulation, and present several strategies including actions that may require to revise the Directive. The Commission adopted the final assessment of Member State NECPs in September 2020. As a result of the assessment, which revealed the EU was on track to surpass its pre-Green Deal target of 40% less emissions by 2040, it concluded that the EU’s renewed climate ambition of net zero emissions by 2050 was realistic. In July 2021, the Commission published a proposal for an amendment to RED II, to align it with the EU’s updated emission reductions target.
Due to the UK's withdrawal from the EU, it was necessary to amend the projected energy consumption figures for the EU in 2030 to reflect the 27 Member States (EU 27). Projections made for the EU headline targets for energy efficiency of at least 32.5 % show that primary energy consumption should be equal to 1,273 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) and final energy consumption should be equal to 956 Mtoe in 2030 for the EU 28. The equivalent projections for the EU 27 show that primary energy consumption should be equal to 1,128 Mtoe and final energy consumption should be equal to 846 Mtoe in 2030. The same projections for energy consumption in 2030 are relevant for articles 6 and 29 of the Governance Regulation 2018/1999.
Per the above, an amendment of the figures for energy consumption levels in 2030 was required. As such, Decision 2019/504 of March 2019 replaced article 3.5 of the Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU and amended article 6.1 of the Governance Regulation 2018/1999.
The content of the decision is without prejudice to the time limits provided for in article 2 of Directive 2018/2002 and in article 59 of Regulation 2018/1999. It entered into force three days after its official publication. Articles 1 and 2 apply from the day following that on which Directive 2012/27/EU and Regulation 2018/1999 ceased to apply to and in the UK ie 1 February 2021.
The Climate and Energy (Revocation) (EU Exit) Regulations 2021, SI 2021/519 revoke the following pieces of retained EU law of relevance to this Practice Note from domestic law in full:
- Effort Sharing Regulation (EU) 2018/842
- Effort Sharing Decision (ESD) 2009/406/EC
- Governance Regulation 2018/1999
- Regulation (EU) 2018/842 on the inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry in the 2030 climate and energy framework
- Decision (EU) 2017/684 on establishing an information exchange mechanism with regard to intergovernmental agreements and non-binding instruments between Member States and third countries in the field of energy, and repealing Decision No 994/2012/EU