Commission calls on Member States to step up ambition in plans to implement Paris Agreement and discusses the overall state of play of EU-Swiss relations
The Commission has today published its assessment of Member States' draft plans to implement the EU's Energy Union objectives, and in particular the agreed EU 2030 energy and climate targets.
The Commission's assessment finds that the national plans already represent significant efforts but points to several areas where there is room for improvement, notably as concerns targeted and individualised policies to ensure the delivery of the 2030 targets and to stay on the path towards climate neutrality in the longer term.
The European Union is the first major economy to put in place a legally binding framework to deliver on its pledges under the Paris Agreement and this is the first time that Member States have prepared draft integrated national energy and climate plans. Yet, with plans currently falling short both in terms of renewables and energy efficiency contributions, reaching the EU's overall climate and energy goals will require a collective step up of ambition.
In its analysis of the draft national plans, the Commission looked at their aggregated contribution to meeting the EU's Energy Union objectives and 2030 targets. As they stand, the draft integrated national energy and climate plans fall short both in terms of renewables and energy efficiency contributions. For renewables, the gap could be as big as 1.6 percentage points. For energy efficiency, the gap can be as big as 6.2 percentage points (if considering primary energy consumption) or 6 percentage points (if considering final energy consumption).
The good news is that Member States now have 6 months to raise their national level of ambition. The Commission's recommendations and detailed assessments aim to help Member States finalise their plans by the end of 2019, and to implement them effectively in the years to come. The national plans should provide clarity and predictability for businesses and the financial sector to stimulate necessary private investments. The plans will also facilitate Member States' programming of funding from the next multi-annual financial framework 2021-2027.
The Commission has also published new guidelines on corporate climate-related information reporting, as part of its Sustainable Finance Action Plan. These guidelines will provide companies with practical recommendations on how to better report the impact that their activities are having on the climate as well as the impact of climate change on their business.
The Commission has also welcomed the publication of three new important reports by the Technical Expert Group on sustainable finance, including key recommendations on the types of economic activities that can make a real contribution to climate change mitigation or adaptation (taxonomy).
The College of Commissioners discussed today the overall state of play of EU-Swiss relations. It reiterated that the Institutional Framework Agreement will not be re-negotiated. Commissioners noted the lack of progress and therefore the College saw no need to take any decisions. The College reiterated its readiness to conclude the agreement before the end of this Commission’s mandate.