This archive contains all documents published by cep over the last few years:
cepAdhoc: Incisive comment on current EU policy issues.
cepPolicyBrief: Concise 4-page reviews of EU proposals (Regulations, Directives, Green Papers, White Papers, Communications) – including a brief summary and economic and legal assessments.
cepInput: Impulse to current discussions of EU policies.
cepStudy: Comprehensive examination of EU policy proposals affecting the economy.
As part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), 90 developed and developing countries, including those of the EU, have pledged to "curb" their greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 in order to prevent damaging consequences for climate change. As these commitments are not sufficient to prevent the severe impact of climate change, a Climate Change Agreement, legally binding for all parties, should be concluded as a Protocol to the UNFCCC in Paris in December 2015 and implemented from 2020 onwards. The European Commission wants to prepare the EU for the final round of international talks prior to the Climate Conference in Paris and therefore defines the requirements that the EU has in relation to the planned Paris Protocol.
The European Commission clarifies its Strategic Framework for an Energy Union and the associated climate and energy policy measures which it is planning for the coming years. It supports inter alia in this regard an expansion of cross-border gas infrastructure in the EU and tighter CO2 limits for motor vehicles.
The European Council calls for the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) to be developed to the main European instrument to prevent climate change. The cep examines how an extension of the EU ETS, for example on the road transport sector, can induce effective and efficient climate protection. It is straightforward that an extension of the EU ETS using the upstream approach can be implemented and is preferable to regulatory climate change measures.
The European Council has agreed on the following key targets for the future climate and energy policy of the European Union for the period from 2021 to 2030: (1) to reduce the EU’s domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 40% relative to 1990 levels; (2) to increase the proportion of renewable energy to 27% of overall EU energy consumption; (3) to reduce projected energy consumption by 27%; (4) to increase the level in each Member State of electricity interconnections to other Member States to 15% of their installed production capacity.
In the EU, operators of fixed installations and aviation companies are only allowed to emit greenhouse gases where they have emission rights. The fall in the price of emission allowances results, in the Commission's view, from an "imbalance between supply and demand". It wants to remove this imbalance by introducing a "market stability reserve". Depending on market conditions, stabilisation of the allowance market will be achieved either by removing allowances from the market and placing them in the reserve, or by releasing them from the reserve and channelling them into the market.
The European Commission proposes new targets for 2030 for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the development of renewable energy. An energy-efficiency target will not be discussed until autumn 2014 following the assessment of the Energy Efficiency Directive. Consultation will take place, in the framework of a new "governance structure", between the Commission and the Member States regarding the latter's plans for climate and energy policy.
With renewables taking up a growing share of energy production, the European Commission wants support for renewables to be carried out more competitively. For this purpose, feed-in tariffs should be largely replaced by feed-in premiums and quota models. Degressive elements of the support system should mean that overcompensation and distortions of competition are avoided. Support for existing installations should not be changed retrospectively.
The European Commission argues in favour of targeted support for CCS and puts various options up for discussion: subsidies for CCS investors, CO2 emission performance standards or a mandatory CCS certificate system for carbon emitters such as power stations and industrial plants.