Is the Commission’s ‘Clean Energy for all Europeans’ proposal enough to tackle climate change?

Brussels, 30/11/2016

The ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ proposal released today introduces long overdue actions as part of the Energy Union strategy. Many steps are welcome, but further efforts are needed to ensure the Package delivers.

The release of the Ecodesign Working Plan is bittersweet, but marks the end of a political freeze on Ecodesign developments. This period of inactivity will cost EU consumers and businesses €44bn, ECOS estimates. Regrettably, products which have the potential to become more environmentally friendly have been scrapped from the list without justification, including toasters and hair-dryers.

The adoption of the ‘Omnibus Amendment’ on verification tolerances in Ecodesign and Energy Labelling regulations will prevent further abuse by manufacturers and mislabelling. It is regrettable that lighting products are exempt from this amendment, keeping an open loophole for an indefinite period of time.

ECOS welcomes the introduction of new rights for consumers in the energy market, such as the right to self-consume renewable energy, benefit from dynamic electricity price contracts and participate on equal footing with traditional generation in electricity markets. Improvement of network tariff design will help improve the flexibility of European power systems.

Provisions for electric vehicle charging points in new and newly renovated buildings are also welcome as they encourage consumers to transition to less carbon intensive form of transportation. However, a commitment to cease subsidising polluting power plants through capacity mechanisms is needed now, not years in the future. 

Finally, the new requirement for Member States to account for real greenhouse gas (GHG) emission savings from biofuels and bioliquids has been long-awaited. Food-based biofuels and bioliquids which do not fulfil the sustainability and GHG emissions saving criteria will finally be excluded from counting towards the European renewable energy target. Sustainability criteria for biofuels remain to be made more comprehensive and verifiable to avoid creating dangerous loopholes.

ECOS Director Laura Degallaix noted: “The ‘Clean Energy for all Europeans’ proposal introduces long-awaited series of measures and initiatives which will help reach the EU commitments under the Paris Agreement. However, there are weaknesses in the proposal that will need to be addressed.”

 

For more information:
Honey Kohan, ECOS Communication Officer
honey.kohan/@/ecostandard.org
+32 (0)2893 08 64