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In July 2023, the European Commission tabled a package of proposals aimed at greening freight transport. One of these proposals focuses on improving the use of rail infrastructure capacity. The proposed text suggests changes to the rules governing the planning and allocation of railway infrastructure capacity, which are currently outlined in Directive 2012/34/EU and Regulation (EU) No 913/2010. The goal of the changes is to enhance the management of rail infrastructure capacity and traffic as a way ...

Since mid-November 2023, the Iran-backed Houthi militia, which controls large parts of Yemen, has attacked numerous Western commercial ships near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait in the Red Sea. In response, major shipping companies have temporarily suspended Suez transits and diverted their trade. This diversion coincides with decreasing freight in another maritime chokepoint, the Panama Canal, provoked by lowered water levels. Rounding South Africa via the Cape of Good Hope is the shortest alternative ...

On 15 December 2021, the Commission presented a proposal to regulate methane emissions reductions in the energy sector. The proposal is part of the second batch of proposals in the 'fit for 55' package, seeking to align EU climate and energy laws with the EU Climate Law's 2030 target. The proposal addresses gaps in the current legislation: those relating to methane emissions from upstream exploration and the production of oil and fossil gas, but also those from the gathering and processing of fossil ...

Fit for 55 package

Briefing 06-03-2024

The 'fit for 55' package of July and December 2021 was designed to realise the European Climate Law objectives: climate neutrality by 2050 and a 55 % reduction of net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, compared with 1990 levels. It consisted of 13 interlinked proposals to revise existing EU climate and energy laws, and six new legislative proposals. All proposals, except the Energy Taxation Directive, have been adopted or agreed by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. The package ...

Net-zero industry act

Briefing 06-03-2024

The deployment of clean energy technologies required to support the achievement of Europe's 2030 and 2050 climate targets is considerable. Europe already largely imports these technologies, and like many third countries is increasing efforts to expand clean energy manufacturing capacity to reduce strategic dependencies for key products. On 16 March 2023, the Commission put forward a proposal for a 'net-zero industry act' that aims to expand the manufacturing capacity of net-zero technologies in the ...

Becoming ever more exposed to global developments that transcend the powers of national governments, the European Union needs to widen the spectrum of strategic public goods it provides. To avoid fruitless conflicts over the ‘juste retour’, this should be funded by new permanent EU fiscal resources, with an appropriate mix of taxation and debt issuance, and underpinned by proper democratic governance. Not only would this advance the Union’s strategic goals but also yield benefits for economic stability ...

Renewable energy in the EU

At a Glance 04-03-2024

Due to the recent energy crisis, there is a growing focus on renewable energy sources within the European Union (EU) as a possible solution to challenges such as energy security and high prices. The 2023 Renewable Energy Directive (RED) requires the EU to achieve a 42.5 % share of renewable energy sources (RES) in gross final energy consumption by 2030. As of 2022, the EU has reached a 23 % share of renewables in its energy consumption. In analysing the EU’s energy landscape, it is crucial to note ...

The electricity market reform proposed in the aftermath of the energy crisis includes a proposal to improve energy market transparency, enhance the role of regulatory bodies and ensure protection against market manipulation. The co-legislators reached a provisional agreement in November 2023. The European Parliament is due to vote on the agreed text during its February II 2024 plenary session.

The Energy Community is an international organisation facilitating energy cooperation; it brings together the EU and neighbouring countries. Established by the Treaty establishing the Energy Community, signed in 2005 in Athens, Greece, it has been in force since 2006. The treaty's validity has been extended twice, most recently until 2036. The signatories to the treaty are the EU and nine contracting parties: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, ...

On 15 December 2021, the Commission adopted a legislative proposal to recast the 2009 EU Gas Directive as part of the proposed hydrogen and decarbonised gas markets package. This reflects the EU's growing climate ambitions, as set out in the European Green Deal and its 'fit for 55' package. The proposal aims to support the decarbonisation of the energy sector by ramping up the production of renewable gases and hydrogen, and facilitating their integration in EU energy networks. The recast directive ...