Welcome to the new edition of Publyon’s EU Energy and Climate Policy Update. In this bi-weekly update, Publyon provides you with the latest insights on the ‘Fit for 55’ negotiations as well as updates on the energy transition, the energy crisis and the EU’s response, including other relevant news on the EU’s climate and emissions reduction policies.
Commission not a-Freight of further greening transport
It was a bit of a bumpy road and there were some delays along the way, but it is finally here: the Greening Freight Package (previously known as the Greening Transport Package). The European Commission presented three legislative proposals this week, with a fourth one expected next week. New measures to decarbonise freight transport include an upgrade of weights and dimensions limits for trucks, an optimised rail capacity management system, a brand-new framework for counting transport emissions and a revision of the rules for multimodal transport.
Below, we have outlined some reactions to the Commission proposals and give you an indication of what will happen next. Want to know more about what’s in the package? Read our analysis on LinkedIn. You can expect even more insights from us on greening freight transport next week, so stay tuned!
In a first reaction to the package, the world road transport organisation IRU welcomed the package, which it said demonstrated EU policymakers’ willingness to further decarbonise the transport sector.
The rail industry association CER, meanwhile, said that the proposals offer new opportunities but could also pose risks to the so-called modal shift from other transport modes to rail. CER was especially pleased with the ‘timely’ new legislation on rail capacity management.
The Greening Freight Package was also debated during the European Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg. MEPs broadly welcomed the proposals, but quite a few of them called for even more ambition. We can therefore expect these proposals to be fiercely negotiated in the European Parliament.
With less than a year before the EU elections, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU will need to act fast to conclude the negotiations on the proposed legislations. Should they not agree on the final legislations before March 2024, the negotiations on the proposals would need to resume with the new European Parliament.
This also means that it is important to act without delay if you are affected by any of the initiatives. Want to know more? Reach out to our transport expert Niels van den Ouden at email@example.com!
Publyon Annual Transport Networking Event
Limited places available!
Register now for the Publyon annual transport networking event on Monday 18 September. The event will be centred around the publication of the Greening Freight Package, with the participation of Ms. Annika Kroon, Head of Unit for Maritime Transport and Logistics at the European Commission, and other stakeholders (TBC). The event be organised at the premises of Holland House Brussels, located at Rue d’Arlon 20, Brussels.
Due to high demand, registrations are subject to approval.REGISTER HERE
Critical Raw Materials Act: Member States increase targets
On 30 June, the Council of the EU adopted its position on the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA), which seeks to diversify the critical raw material supply chains for EU products. The EU heavily relies on just a couple of countries for its supply of critical raw materials.
The Member States’ position can be summed up in a couple of key points. First, it raises processing and recycling targets from 40% to 50% and from 15% to 29%, respectively. Second, it includes bauxite, alumina and aluminium as additional strategic raw materials to the list and suggests updating the list every three years (instead of four). Third, it facilitates the permit procedures that allow for strategic projects to be developed.
Once the European Parliament will have adopted its position, tentatively planned on 2 October, inter-institutional negotiations can start.
Do the Spanish hold a solution to the EU electricity market reform deadlock?
Following the partial agreement reached by the Swedish Presidency on the electricity market reform, the Spanish Presidency took up the task to secure a common position as soon as possible. However, several unresolved issues remain to address. Member States disagree on the lifetime extension of existing nuclear plants, support for coal-fired power generation, and the contracts for difference question (a mandatory contract for investment in power generation projects).
For now, the Spanish propose to consider the volume of electricity production by different sources and the distribution of revenues between EU Member States as two solutions to find a balanced compromise. These solutions have been debated during the meeting of energy ministers in Spain from 10 to 12 July.
In the European Parliament, negotiations are moving faster as the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy will vote on its position on 19 July and an indicative plenary sitting date is set on 11 September.
Energy Charter Treaty: Will the EU withdraw?
On 7 July, the European Commission proposed to Member States (and European agency Euratom) to coordinate its withdrawal from the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), established to meet energy security concerns. However, the EU and several Member States believe the EU Climate Law and net-zero policies do not align with the ECT anymore, which has remained unchanged since the 1990s.
The Commission’s proposition has been submitted to the Council of the EU and discussed, informally, by the energy ministers of the Member States in Valladolid, from 10 to 12 July. To ensure an EU exit from the Energy Charter Treaty, the Council will first need a qualified majority.
End of an era: MEPs approve several Fit for 55 legislation
During plenary week from 10 – 13 July, the European Parliament has voted on several agreed texts on Fit for 55 legislations. This is an important step for the Fit for 55 package, as several legislations are seeing the end of their legislative process. The European Parliament agreed upon the final text on the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), the regulation on alternative fuels infrastructure (AFIR) and regulation of sustainable maritime fuels (FuelEU Maritime). These legislations bring the EU one step closer to the achievement of the net-zero goal of 2050.
The revised EED will boost energy savings in both primary and final EU energy consumption by setting new 2030 targets (energy reduction target of 11.7%). The new AFIR rules will develop a well-expanded network of recharging stations to boost the uptake of zero- and low-emission vehicles. It will require Member States to deploy recharging stations at least every 60KM along core TEN-T network routes by 2026. Finally, FuelEU Maritime ensures a gradual reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for ships starting from 2025.
The Council of the EU is now expected to adopt these texts in after summer recess before they enter into force.
European Parliament lacks ambitions on Industrial Emissions Directive
MEPs adopted their position for interinstitutional negotiations with the new Spanish Presidency on the revised Industrial Emissions Directive (IED). The IED aims to prevent and manage pollution resulting from emissions of large agro-industrial installations into air, soil and water resulting in various health issues. It is an integral part of the EU’s commitment to transition industries towards sustainable and circular operations.
Contrary to the common trend of the European Parliament to increase the ambition of the Commission’s proposal, MEPs decided to maintain the current rules for livestock farms and rejected the proposal to extend the IED to cattle farms.
As regards industry installations, such as mines and large battery manufacturing facilities, the European Parliament agreed with the Commission’s proposal to include these sectors under the IED.
- On 17 – 18 July, the Parliamentary Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) will gather to consider a draft report on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) while reporting back on interinstitutional negotiations on construction products.
- On 19 – 20 July, the Parliamentary Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) will hold its last meeting before summer recess.
- From 24 July – 28 August the European institutions will be in summer recess. This means no meetings or publications will take place.
Belgian elections 2024: how can businesses prepare?
The countdown has officially started in Belgium: elections in 2024 are on their way. One year from now, on 9 June, Belgians will cast their ballot to choose their regional, federal, and European representatives. Elections are not just an important occasion for citizens to voice their concerns and ambitions for the country’s future, they are crucial for businesses too. This article provides key insights into the Belgian electoral process, its intricacies, forecast and implications for businesses and organisations.READ ARTICLE
Hi, my name is Sara and I am curating the Energy & Climate Policy Update to bring you the latest news on ‘Fit for 55’ as well as energy and climate insights. Do not hesitate to reach out should you have any questions or if you want to know how EU energy and climate policies might impact your business.Contact