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  • Tackling energy poverty: social policy measures and national indicative objective
  • Long-term planning and coordination to achieve Paris agreement objectives
  • Commission role as a “gap filler”

The set of rules that will govern the Energy Union were voted by ITRE and ENVI on Thursday.

Rules regulating the working mechanisms of the Energy Union project were voted by the Industry, Research and Energy and the Environment Committees on Thursday. The Governance of the Energy Union file sets a framework for Member States to operate and is part of the “Clean Energy for all Europeans” legislative package.

 

Energy poverty

 

MEPs asked the member states to assess in their national energy and climate plans the number of households in energy poverty, and outline existing and planned policies and measures addressing energy poverty, including social policy measures and other relevant national programmes. In cases of significant number of households in energy poverty, a national indicative objective to reduce energy poverty should be included in the plan, they further asked.

 

Long-term planning and strong cooperation among member states

 

In their amendments, MEPs asked the member states to submit their first integrated national energy and climate plan by June 2019 at the latest, a second one by January 2024 and subsequent plans with more ambitious objectives covering a ten year period of action every five years after that.

 

In order to meet the targets, objectives and contributions set out in these plans, MEPs ask the member states to cooperate with each other at regional level or macro-regional. In this respect, at least two member states will be able to engage in macro-regional partnership cooperation on renewable energy projects of Energy Union interest (RPEI), with a significant cross-border impact, said MEPs in their amendments. The Commission will establish a list of RPEI by 31 December 2020, which will be eligible for Union financial support in the form of grants, loans, equity, financial instruments and guarantee funds.

 

Commission role

 

Moreover, the member states and the Commission should prepare by 1 January 2019 and every five years thereafter their long-term climate and energy strategies with a 30 years perspective, further said MEPs.

 

The Commission will assess the integrated national energy and climate plans, and it can make recommendations or take remedy measures when it considers that insufficient progress was made or insufficient actions were take.

 

The report was adopted by 61 votes in favour, 46 against and 9 abstentions.

 

Quote

 

Claude Turmes (Greens/EFA, LU), co-rapporteur for ITRE committee said: “The Governance Regulation is the incorporation of the Paris Agreement into EU law. The EU and Member States need to set energy and climate objectives, notably for 2030, in line with the EU's fair share of the global carbon budget and consistent with one another. A transparent, inclusive, multi-level governance is key to achieve the 2050 vision of a net-zero carbon economy, involving local authorities, civil society and citizens.”

 

Michèle Rivasi (Greens/EFA, FR), co-rapporteur for the ENVI committee, said: "This is a first. This regulation will act as an EU-level safeguard to ensure consistency with the Paris Agreement. The report calls for a proper carbon budget to be approved for the European Union.  The aim is to account for the maximum quantity of greenhouse gas that the EU can still emit, to enable us to live in a world where climate warming is limited to 1.5°C, or 2°C at most, by the end of the century. For the first time, the 2030 climate objectives (renewable energies and energy efficiency) will have to be aligned with a Union carbon budget and a long-term climate and energy strategy. National climate and energy plans for 2030 will have to aim to achieve zero net emissions and a highly efficient and renewable energy economy by 2050 at the latest".

 

Next steps

 

The legislative resolution will be voted on by the full Parliament during the January plenary session to give MEPs the mandate to start negotiations with EU governments.