The EESC welcomes the Commission's proposal for a new market design, a risk preparedness regulation and the new organisation of the energy regulators' cooperation. The Committee highlights that well-functioning electricity markets are a precondition for fulfilling the goals of the Energy Union. For the markets to function well, significant changes in the market design are necessary, particularly due to the increasing use of variable renewable electricity. The EESC appreciates the general approach of the market design package, especially the goals of putting consumers at the heart of the energy market, increasing electricity supply and strengthening regional cooperation.
Strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions reduction (Communication) - Related Opinions
The EESC welcomes the "clean energy" package, which aims to accelerate, transform and consolidate the EU economy's clean energy transition, while pursuing the important goals of economic growth and job creation. The proposed package includes important proposals in the areas of renewable energies and electricity market design and regulation, energy efficiency and energy performance of buildings, energy innovations, transport, and governance – and the Committee views many of the initiatives favourably. However, the opinion – drawing on nine other opinions concerned with the individual proposals of the clean energy package – also identifies a number of challenges that civil society and co-legislators need to be aware of.
The EESC welcomes the adoption of the Paris Agreement by the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and of the intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) of the EU and its Member States, committing to a reduction in domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of at least 40% by 2030 and by 80 to 95% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels.
The objective of reducing transport-related GHG emissions by 60% can therefore still be considered to be relevant and in line with the EU's general objective under COP 21, provided the associated actions and initiatives are implemented urgently, with the necessary determination and as soon as possible.
The EESC supports the adoption of a legally binding agreement in Paris and strongly supports the EU's negotiating position. The Committee believes that the EU can play a leading role by demonstrating that climate policy and positive economic development go hand in hand.
A key point from the EESC’s perspective is the role of civil society in this process. A broad-based global civil society movement has emerged that is now calling for rigorous climate protection efforts. Agreements must meet with broad public approval and support from businesses, trade unions and other groups of civil society.
The EESC recommends taking a decisive step towards a real European Energy Community by coordinating national plans, particularly with a view to securing the EU’s energy supply, providing more information on plans to step up action in the non-ETS sector, particularly in the transport, agriculture and land use sectors. And taking radical action on innovation and research as the providers of real solutions to the challenges, in combination with measures to promote the manufacture of equipment for the low carbon economy, while and ensuring that delivery by industry is supported by better training, and making the international development of climate policies the top priority and in parallel paying more attention to adaptation to climate change.