EU Energy ministers agreed that the Energy Efficiency Directive should be adopted before the end of June. The President of the Energy Council, Mr. Martin Lidegaard, is satisfied by the constructive discussions during the informal ministerial meeting in Horsens, Denmark on Thursday and Friday.
“It is of utmost importance that everybody supports the goal of reaching an agreement on energy efficiency - and many member states show readiness to show some flexibility. But we are not there yet. Many compromises need to be taken by both ministers and the European Parliament”, says Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building Martin Lidegaard.
The EU’s heads of state and government has set the objective to get agreement on the Energy Efficiency Directive by the end of June in order to create economic growth in the EU. The Danish Presidency has recently - based on demands from the member states - tabled a compromise proposal to make progress in the negotiations. Thursday, most of the energy ministers supported that the directive should secure a more energy efficient Europe - and that the directive should bring us substantial closer to the goal of reaching 20 percent energy savings in 2020. Among the ministers there was a clear understanding for the need of flexibility from all sides in the negotiations.
“It is the most constructive debate we have had among ministers. Now it is important that the support that the ministers have shown the Presidency here in Horsens is transmitted to the negotiation table in Brussels with a higher level of ambition”, says Martin Lidegaard.
Thursday during lunch the environment ministers debated the European CO2 Emissions Trading System (ETS). For the first time since the adoption of the EU’s Climate and Energy Package in 2008, the Danish Presidency had put ETS on the agenda. The price on CO2 allowances is now so low that it no longer serves to ensure that enough is being invested in energy savings and conversion to renewable energy.
“We had a very positive and constructive discussion during the lunch. We agreed that the ETS is the cornerstone in the strategy towards a low-emission European society in 2050”, says Martin Lidegaard.
The ministers agreed that it is about time to look at the ambitions in the EU Climate Policy towards 2030. An ambitious climate policy can in the long-term secure a higher and more stable price on CO2 allowances. The EU Commission will soon put forward an analysis of the market for CO2 allowances.
Friday morning, the energy ministers started the important political discussion of the EU’s energy future. The focus was on the year 2030 based on the EU Commission’s Energy Roadmap 2050. Ministers agreed on the direction for the future work to design a common EU framework including more renewable energy, higher energy efficiency and better energy infrastructure. The negotiations on the concrete targets and measures will continue also after the end of the Danish Presidency.