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Green Growth Group Ministers' statement – next steps on the EU 2030 Climate and Energy Policy Framework

Green Growth Group Ministers issued the following joint statement on 18 December 2014

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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2030 Energy & Climate Policy Framework:

1.We welcome the decision of the European Council to endorse an ambitious domestic GHG target as well as renewables and energy efficiency targets from 2020 to 2030 and its firm support for ETS reform with a market stability reserve as well as to speed up energy interconnections. This is an important step towards decarbonisation of our economies in the period up to 2050 and sends a strong signal to the UNFCCC process well in advance of the global climate conference to take place in Paris in 2015 (COP21).

2.We recognise the important role of renewable energy, energy efficiency and other safe and sustainable low carbon technologies in meeting the EU 2030 targets and broader EU energy policy objectives cost-effectively, and welcome the planned review of the energy efficiency target by 2020, as is stated in the conclusions.

3.We are convinced that the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework should bring multiple benefits to all EU countries and be critical to realizing the new Commission’s strategy to deliver high-quality jobs, sustainable growth, competitiveness and investment across the EU.

Urgent EU ETS Reform & the Market Stability Reserve:

4.A well-functioning EU ETS will be critical to delivering the EU’s agreed GHG target. To urgently restore the effectiveness of the EU ETS, we call on the Council and the European Parliament to swiftly adopt an ambitious Market Stability Reserve, in order to provide certainty to business and investors. Moreover, a clear majority of GGG members already support the introduction of the Market Stability Reserve in the year 2017 and transfer of the backloaded amounts into the reserve. This should be factored in to the volume of greenhouse gas emission allowances to be auctioned in 2013-2020. Other measures will need to be taken, as agreed on by the European Council on October 23rd 2014, to ensure an effective Emissions Trading System after 2020. The Council should seek to agree its initial position on the MSR as soon as possible.

5.The European Commission should address carbon leakage concerns as part of the phase IV legislative reforms of the EU ETS, to ensure appropriate forms of support are provided for those sectors at risk of losing international competitiveness due to EU climate policy.

Early Implementation of the 2030 GHG Target:

6.We call on the new Commission to start rapidly with work on the implementation of the new and existing legislation related to the 2020 and the 2030 climate and energy framework. This must include measures to enact the European Council’s strategic orientations regarding the EU ETS to 2030, effort sharing for the non-ETS sectors until 2030, as well as consideration of LULUCF, tackling emissions from the transport sector and ensuring a strong but flexible and cost-effective governance framework which can ensure all the EU’s climate and energy policy goals are met. The Commission should consult with Member States and other stakeholders on the basis of draft proposals on ETS and Effort Share as soon as practically possible, starting in 2015.

The New Commission’s Work Programme:

7.We welcome the Commission’s commitment to this agenda so far. We wish to underline the great importance of maintaining climate, sustainability and green growth as a top political priority in the EU’s future activities.

8.In particular, we call on the new Commission to integrate Europe’s climate, energy and green growth objectives, including the 2020 and 2030 Climate and Energy Framework, as a core priority within the new Vice Presidential Structure and horizontally across the Commission and its future Work Programme to ensure that:-

  • It responds to the scale of Europe’s renewables and energy efficiency and safe and sustainable low carbon energy investment challenges as well as to the need to complete and interconnect the internal energy market, and promotes the substantial growth opportunities that will arise as this investment is unlocked. Mobilising substantial private sector investment in this sector should be a priority as the Commission implements its jobs, growth and investment package.

  • The EU strengthens its leading role in tackling climate change ahead of UNFCCC COP21 via ambitious climate action within Europe, promoting global action and carbon pricing and by working tirelessly to help deliver a robust global climate agreement that will keep global warming below two degrees. We call on the European Commission and all Member States to swiftly elaborate the details of the EU’s intended nationally determined contribution so that it can be communicated to the UNFCCC Parties by March 2015.

  • We should be ready to consider raising the ambition of the GHG reduction target and the level of EU action, including through the use of international carbon market mechanisms, in the context of securing an ambitious, global and comprehensive international climate agreement at the Paris Conference.

  • GHG emission reductions and enhancing energy security are delivered by mutually reinforcing action – the emphasis must be on exploiting the synergies between the two, without compromising long-term climate objectives with energy security measures.

9.We look forward to working constructively across the Commission, Council and Parliament to ensure these principles are fully reflected in the implementation of the Commission’s forthcoming political and legislative programme.

Signed by:-

Marie-Christine Marghem Federal Minister of Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development BELGIUM

Céline Fremault Brussels Ministers of Environment, Energy, Housing and Quality of Life BELGIUM

Mr Mati Raidma Minister of Environment ESTONIA

Rasmus Helveg Petersen Minister for Energy, Climate & Buildings DENMARK

Ms Sanni Grahn-Laasonen Minister of the Environment FINLAND

Ségolène Royal Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy FRANCE

Barbara Hendricks Federal Environment Minister GERMANY

Gian Luca Galletti Minister of the Environment, Land and Sea ITALY

Mrs Carole Dieschbourg Minister for Environment LUXEMBOURG

Wilma Mansveld Minister for the Environment NETHERLANDS

Ms Tine Sundtoft Minister for Climate and Environment NORWAY

Jorge Moreira da Silva Minister of Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy PORTUGAL

Ms Irena Majcen Minister of the Environment & Spatial Planning SLOVENIA

Isabel García Tejerina Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Environment SPAIN

Åsa Romson Minister of Climate and the Environment SWEDEN

Rt Hon Edward Davey MP Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change UNITED KINGDOM

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said:

“Coming back from the successful climate change talks in Lima, I’m more determined than ever that we must get an ambitious global climate deal in Paris next year.

The Green Growth Group which I set up is today giving a clear steer that the Commission, Council and Parliament need to work together to strengthen the EU Emissions Trading Scheme so that it can make decarbonisation in Europe more attractive, and to push ahead with legislation to implement our target of cutting Greenhouse Gas emissions by at least 40% domestically.”

Philippe Joubert, Chair of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group which manages and steers the Green Growth Group, said:

“We welcome the call from Ministers for early action to strengthen the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and introduce legislation to reach Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions commitment of at least a 40% cut domestically. For further business and investor confidence, we need a Commission Work Programme promoting an integrated industrial, energy, climate and internal market policy framework.”

Published 18 December 2014