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EU parliament groups detail climate, energy policy asks

  • Market: Biofuels, Electricity, Emissions, Natural gas
  • 09/07/24

The European Parliament's centre-left S&D and liberal Renew groups are finalising their key policy requests ahead of an expected plenary vote, on 18 July, on the re-appointment of Ursula von der Leyen as European Commission president. Both groups, like the centre-right EPP, are broadly calling for a continuation of the bloc's Green Deal.

Von der Leyen, a member of the centre-right EPP's governing body, has already received nomination from EU leaders. But she will also need support from the centre-left, liberals and Greens to gain a majority in plenary on 18 July.

The EPP had intended to finalise its policy calls for 2024-29 in Portugal by 5 July. But parliament's largest centre-right party is still working on a "live" document with hundreds of amendments. Core elements remain, including revision of CO2 standards for new cars to allow for alternative zero-emission fuels beyond 2035 and a new e-fuel, biofuel and low-carbon fuel strategy.

The centre-left S&D group has already handed von der Leyen its policy wishlist for 2024-30. The group has called for several existing targets to remain in place, including the EU's legal commitment to climate neutrality by 2050 and the 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target — cuts of "at least" 55pc by 2030, from 1990 levels. It also wants CO2 standards for cars and the deforestation regulation to remain in place.

S&D also wants to extend legal obligations under the EU's Climate Law to establish an "ambitious" intermediate climate target for 2040 of "at least 90pc and up to 95pc of net GHG emissions", compared with 1990 levels. And the group calls for renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology manufacturing to be at the core of the EU's energy security strategy.

The liberal Renew group does not want the next commission "backtracking" on the Green Deal, and is pushing for affordable energy for households. The group wants a "complete phase-out" of imported Russian fossil fuels, with a strong emphasis on a continued supply diversification and energy efficiency. Renew further calls for a "zero carbon" Energy Union package of legislation with joint purchasing and allowing for more investment in power storage, grids and generation.

Other liberal calls are for expanding the emissions trading system (ETS) and expanding the EU's carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) to new sectors, including downstream users such as automotive. A "phase-out" of coal, oil and gas in industry should come through strong market-based ETS measures, while ETS revenues should support accelerated electrification, the group added. And it calls for a science-based 2040 GHG target.

The Green group has not prepared a specific post-electoral document for 2024-29 strategy. But its support for von der Leyen is made conditional on not rolling back the Green Deal.


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