Upcoming changes on energy and climate for 2018

There are several policies on the field of energy and climate that will need to be tackled and updated during the present year: Brexit and energy, 2030 climate rules, clean energy package, meeting Paris Agreement gas pipelines and coal investments.

Brexit will officially take place in 2019 but UK companies will start to be separated from the EU’s Emissions Trading System this year. The ETS is a system established to reduces greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. During the present and the following year, UK companies have permits although there is a fear in Brussels about the possibility of the leave of the UK and an unexpected destabilisation of the ETS due to those permits.

Regarding 2030 Climate rules, policies will be implemented this year following the decisions made on climate files about cutting emissions and deforestation, which include binding national emissions targets for sectors as transports and agriculture and rules for land use and forestry.

On November 2016, the Clean Energy Package was launched with the aim to enable clean energy transition, it will be one of the main files to follow this year. The main focus is to promote the inclusion of renewables, energy saving and a focus on green targets as well as establishing the role of crop-based biofuels in transport, and how to collaborate in case of power shortages. The Clean Energy Package includes the Energy Efficiency and Renewables directives as well as the Electricity market which are currently under discussion. In this same direction, the EU will have to focus on its commitments made with the Paris Agreement, with the aim to limit global warming under 2°C pre-industrial levels with the long-term goal of 1.5°C

Concerning energy sources, gas pipelines and coal aids will be in the spotlight. On one hand, the EU will focus on building gas pipelines that will ensure energy security for Europe as Brussels suggested to extend its infrastructure as it is written down on the 2018 Commission Work Programme its willingness to negotiate with Russia about the Nord Stream 2. The Nord Stream 2, a project to transport gas from Russia to the European Union owned by Gazprom. Some issues could during the project due to several reasons, the new government in Germany, a new Danish law that may interfere in the route or U.S. sanctions that may pose difficulties on financing.

On the other hand, coal will experience a decrease in funds in form of state aid to cover production losses. It is expected a decrease in its activity due to the emissions-reduction policies following the aim to reduce its use in favour of renewable resources, although the Commission has still approved aid for several countries. Those are Spain, Romania, the Czech Republic and Poland and still there are mines in Poland that without being subsidized will still continue functioning.

Please find here more about this news.