Europe plans to address the climate and energy crises head-on, here’s how.
By Clinton Prophecy
The European Commission on Oct. 18published the State of the Energy Union report. The report highlighted challenges that have been faced by the the EU’s energy sector in the past 12 months, and progresses made in addressing them short-term and in Europe’s long term Climate Goals.
In specifics, the report takes a look at the EU’s energy policy in response to Climate Change and current energy insecurities stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson said :
“This report shows what the EU has done in response to the current energy market crises, and how much progress we have achieved overall. At the same time, it highlights how these developments fit in with our long-term climate goals”.
The novel report further details energy supply and demand in the EU, diversification of energy supply, a just energy transition, and it’s impact on businesses and consumers.
Key highlights (i.e., challenges and progress from the report) are found below:
*Current high and volatile energy prices are having an impact on consumers across all EU Member States
* All Member States have implemented measures to tackle higher energy prices.
*The EU’s gas storage filling was above 91% by mid-October.
*The share of Russian pipeline gas in EU imports went down from 41% in 2021 to 9% in September 2022.
* In 2021 subsidies for oil, coal and gas showed a slight increase, while subsidies for fossil electricity generation fell, with fossil fuel subsidies overall remaining fairly stable
* The EU has substantially surpassed the 2020 emission reduction target set under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, achieving a reduction in domestic net greenhouse gas emissions of 32% in 2020.
* The EU energy efficiency and renewable energy targets for 2020 were overachieved.
*In 2019 and 2020, the increase in the use of renewable energy substituted around 155.6 Mtoe and 164.6 Mtoe of fossil fuels respectively. This corresponds to a saving of EUR 43.5 billion from avoided fossil fuel use in 2019, and EUR 34.6 billion in 2020.
*The EU generated a record 12% of its electricity from solar from May to August 2022; and 13% from wind.
* The share of renewables in the electricity mix is expected to grow from 37% in 2021 to 69% in 2030.
*The EU has remained at the forefront of clean energy research, with Member States steadily increasing public R&I investments, and the EU confirming its leading position in technologies such as offshore wind.
*There is a substantive increase in funding options at EU and national level for the European hydrogen value chain.
* Member States are implementing measures to boost energy efficiency across all sectors.
To address the diverse challenges, the EU according to the report will use its REPowerEU plan( exits in line with the European Green Deal ) and Article 122 of its treaty – the emergency article for energy amidst other measures. The REPowerEU plan includes measures to save energy, diversify and secure supplies, boost renewable energy deployment, and smartly combine investments and reforms. It is backed by financial and legal measures to build the new energy infrastructure and system that Europe needs.
The world has been battling a myriad of climate and more recently, economic challenges. However, the said challenges have only been payed more attention to after the COVID-19 pandemic. Political blocs across the globe have been coming forth with policies in a bid to end the menace
“If we don’t act now, this century may be one of humanity’s last. We can build a safer, fairer, more resilient world. But we need to move quickly”. – António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General.