Sunday, 7 May 2017

Energy Union: Commission work programme for 2017

The blog entry Second Report on the State of the Energy Union offered a glance at the state of play until 1 February 2017.

Energy Union strategy

First, a reminder of the points of departure for the Energy Union.

In the publication A New Start for Europe you find a resilient energy union with a forward-looking climate change policy outlined as the third of the ten priorities of the Juncker Commission.

Soon enough, the new Commission launched its Energy Union Package, featuring most prominently the framework strategy communication and the annexed roadmap, with tens of promised actions and legislative proposals:

A Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy; Brussels, 25.2.2015 COM(2015) 80 final

Roadmap for the Energy Union; Brussels, 25.2.2015 COM(2015) 80 final ANNEX 1

The Grahnlaw blog post State of the EU Energy Union mentioned the earlier entries in Finnish and Swedish, then compiled most of the press materials and official documents needed to bring us almost up to date.

In this blog article we turn our eyes to the near future, through the Commission work programme (CWP).

Commission work programme for 2017

Last autumn the European Commission published its annual communication:

Commission Work Programme 2017 - Delivering a Europe that protects, empowers and defends; Strasbourg, 25.10.2016 COM(2016) 710 final

On page 7 we find enough for a general orientation about promised 2017 actions regarding energy and climate change:

3. A Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy

A Europe that takes responsibility for delivery on promises made. The swift ratification of the Paris Agreement has shown that Member States can find common ground when it is clear that acting together the Union's impact is bigger than the mere sum of its parts. Moreover, it has confirmed the EU's global leading role on climate change. Delivery on our commitments is now needed to make the modernisation of our economy a reality whilst ensuring a socially fair transition. The implementation of the Paris Agreement and of the international agreement on emissions from aircraft (International Civil Aviation Organisation) is a priority here.

As already announced, we will continue to deliver on our Energy Union Strategy and present, by the end of this year, a comprehensive package aimed at managing the modernisation of the economy by placing energy efficiency first, pursuing the ambition to become world number one in renewable energies and providing a fair deal to consumers. This will encompass legislative action on energy efficiency, renewable energy including bioenergy sustainability, the design of the electricity market and the governance rules for the Energy Union. An initiative to Accelerate Clean Energy Innovation will support the research and market uptake of technological innovation needed for energy efficiency and renewables to meet the decarbonisation goals set by the Paris Agreement and our 2030 targets. All the Energy Union related legislative proposals presented by the Commission in 2015 and 2016 need to be addressed as a priority by the Parliament and Council. These include the above-mentioned package, the security of gas supply package24, the EU emissions trading system25 and related rules on effort-sharing26 and landuse and forestry27 .

We will also follow up on our Strategy on low-emission mobility presented in July. The aim will be to increase the efficiency of transport by responding to the mobility needs of people and goods and promoting lower emissions, including a gradual shift to zero emission vehicles, which will also enhance the competitiveness of the industry. To achieve this, as a first step we will present REFIT revisions of the car and light commercial vehicles Regulations, presenting strategies establishing zero- and low-emission standards post-2020, and the clean vehicles Directive to improve procurement incentives and rules. Applying the user-pay and polluter-pay principle, we intend to propose improvements for those Member States who choose to use road charging, including for the interoperability of electronic tolling services.

24 COM(2016)52 final and COM(2016)53 final/2.
25 COM(2015)337 final/2.
26 COM(2016)482 final/2.
27 COM(2016)479 final.

New energy initiatives  
The first CWP annex with new initiatives COM(2016) 710 final ANNEX 1 promises:

A Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy

5. Implementation of the Energy Union Strategy: low-emission travel and mobility

REFIT revisions of several key pieces of legislation highlighted in the low-emission mobility action plan: post-2020 strategies on cars/vans and on lorries, buses and coaches (legislative, incl. impact assessment; Q2/2017); the Clean Vehicles Directive (incl. impact assessment; Art. 192 TFEU; Q2/2017); and the Eurovignette and European Electronic Toll Service (EETS) Directives (incl. impact assessment; Art. 91 TFEU; Q2/2017). This initiative includes the implementation of the international agreement on emissions from aircraft (ICAO) (legislative, incl. impact assessment; Art. 192 TFEU; Q1/2017) .

Energy REFIT

In the policy area of energy the second CWP annex COM(2016) 710 final ANNEX 2 with REFIT initiatives offers:

4. Combined Transport  

Revision of Directive 92/106/EEC on the establishment of common rules for certain types of combined transport of goods between Member States aimed at improving efficiency and effectiveness and ensuring further promotion of intermodal transport in EU (incl. impact assessment; Q4/2017). This revision follows-up on an evaluation concluded in 2016.

Pending energy proposals

The third CWP annex COM(2016) 710 final ANNEX 3 lists the priority pending proposals, with the following ones related to energy and climate change:

13. EU Emissions Trading System

Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Directive 2003/87/EC to enhance cost-effective emission reductions and low carbon investments

COM/2015/0337 final/2 - 2015/0148 (COD) 03/09/2015

14. Efforts Sharing Decision

Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions by Member States from 2021 to 2030 for a resilient Energy Union and to meet commitments under the Paris Agreement and amending Regulation No 525/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council on a mechanism for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions and other information relevant to climate change

COM/2016/0482 final/2 - 2016/0231 (COD) 20/07/2016

15. Security of Gas Supply Package

Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL concerning measures to safeguard the security of gas supply and repealing Regulation (EU) No 994/2010

COM/2016/052 final - 2016/030 (COD) 16/02/2016

Proposal for a DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL 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

COM/2016/053 final/2 - 2016/031 (COD) 02/06/2016

Ralf Grahn