Climate and energy
The Working Group on Climate and energy consists of representatives from different national and regional advisory bodies which have longstanding experience on matters such as climate change and energy.
Through communication and coordination, as well as the combined knowledge, expertise, and resources of its members, the working group is able to address a number of relevant issues with regard to energy policies in the European area and beyond.
The Working Group is currently Chaired by:
Folmer de Haan
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Hydrogen can play a role in making the economy more sustainable in two ways: as an energy carrier, and as a feed stock for industry. The Dutch Climate Agreement, Climate Plan and various sector-specific scenarios all assign an important role to hydrogen. Hydrogen is also receiving considerable attention internationally, as illustrated by the many strategies, vision documents, reports and investments by governments and global companies. Hydrogen, in other words, has potential.
There are however multiple challenges and possible infringing interests when it comes to the use of hydrogen in the future. In this context the Dutch Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli) produced its report aiming to answer the question: What is a realistic prospect for hydrogen as a feed stock and/or energy carrier in a sustainable economy, and what role should the (Dutch) national government and other parties play in that regard? During an online presentation, Folmer de Haan (Deputy Director Rli) introduced the advice and its finding and engaged in collegial exchange.
Hydrogen: The missing link
Presentation by Folmer de Haan
The context in which the European energy and climate transition is taking place changes by the day due to the Covid19 crisis. Inevitably this changing context will affect the EU’s energy and climate policies. In order to obtain a better understanding of how the Covid19 crisis will influence European energy and climate policies, the EEAC Working Group invited Milan Elkerbout of the Center for European Policy Studies to provide the working group with an online policy brief on this issue.
During the session, Milan touched upon both the short-term and the longer-term impacts of Covid19 on EU energy and climate policies. With this session the EEAC Working Group on Energy and Climate Change provided participants with an enhanced understanding of the short-term and longer-term impact of the Covid19 crisis on EU Energy and Climate Policies.
Session outcome letter by Folmer de Haan
In line with the EU Energy Union governance regulation, Member States need to draft Integrated National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs). These NECPs need to cover ten-year periods (middle-long term focus) starting from 2021 running to 2030, with a clear link to 2050 (long term focus). Within this 10-year cycle, it is possible for the Member States to adapt their National Integrated Climate and Energy Plans, so as to take into account the changing circumstances. For the period 2021-2030, the Member States can thus update their plans in 2024.
From 2021 onwards, Member States have to report on the progress they made in implementing their NECPs, this will take place on a two-yearly basis (short term focus). The variety of terms (long-;middle-; short term) offers on the one hand a stable basis (investors security for a 10 year period with a link to 2050), while on the other hand the cycle includes sufficient short term focus to ensure adequate flexibility for adaptation; improvement and implementation of lessons learned by Member States.
All in all, the EU governance structure requires that the NECPS are in line with EU and global long-term strategies and goals as well as include integrated reporting, monitoring and data publication mechanisms. Consequently, the EU Energy Union regulation will largely determine the overarching governance framework within which the climate and energy transition will take place in EU Member States. This means that it also sets a framework in which advisory work on the climate and energy transition will take place.
What did the EEAC Working Group on Energy and Climate Change do?
The EU Energy Union Governance Regulation is uncharted territory. There are no blueprints showing how best to operate in this context, and flexibility and a willingness to learn are required. All stakeholders – including advisory bodies – need to engage in a learning curve. The EEAC Working Group on Energy and Climate Change offers an operational framework for participative learning and exchange among fellow advisory bodies and external parties.
An initial stock-taking exercise has served to kick off this process. Advisory bodies filled in a questionnaire, providing valuable information and insights on how EU Member States are preparing their ‘National Energy and Climate Plans’ for December 2019. The input provided by these bodies is synthesised and summarised in an EEAC stock taking note that was used to identify common challenges and proposed solutions.
The findings were offered to several external experts for analysis during a working group session that took place in Brussels on July 2nd, 2019. A selection of national, subnational and European stakeholders joined advisory bodies on environment; sustainable development and climate change with a view to information-sharing and informed debate. Below you will find a cover letter by the working group’s Chairman and the EEAC stocktaking document, entitled ” Tentative NECPs A stocktaking excercise Version 1.1′. In addtion, the introduction presentation and the programme are enclosed.
Cover letter by Folmer de Haan
Working Group Stocktaking document: Tentative NECPs A stocktaking excercise Version 1.1
Draft National Energy and Climate Plans: State of Affairs 2019 by Stefanie Corens, Minaraad
The EEAC Network organized a workshop on the social-economic consequences of the phase out of old energy regimes. This workshop was the second in line dedicated to a specific challenge of the phase out process. The workshop was organized in prelude to the EEAC Annual Conference. Background A successful energy-transition is not solely about developing new low-carbon based economies and societies, but also, and equally importantly, about phasing out old energy regimes. An orderly phasing out of old energy regimes over several decades will involve redundancies along the value-creation chain in sectors such as coal, lignite and refinery. Structural changes will inevitably have socio-economic consequences, which are expected to include job losses in the affected sectors. The socio-economic dimensions of the phase-out of the old energy regimes should not be underestimated. For example, in Germany alone some 48,000 people are currently employed in the lignite and coal sectors according to the Federation of German Industries (BDI). In addition, an estimated 40,000 to 86,000 people work in industries linked to both sectors. However, this is not just a German phenomenon, countries across the EU face or have faced comparable shifts affecting whole labour sectors and communities. If activity in old energy-regimes decreases, regional structural change will be accelerated, including job losses in the affected industries. The workshop of the EEAC Working Group on Energy and Climate Change aimed to address this issue and dedicated special attention to the role of government in enhancing an orderly phase out process. What topics will be addressed and who will attend? participants were encouraged to exchange knowledge and experiences and discuss among others the following questions:
- What are to anticipated social-economic effects in Europe, when a phase out of old energy-regimes continues over the next decade(s)?
- What can be learned from previous major social-economic changes?
What is new and what updated governmental interventions are needed? The workshop brought a selected group of (scientific) experts and governmental advisers together. The workshop summary will be made available in due time.
Setting the scene, by Dr. Pao-Yu Oei, (German Institute for Economic Research)
Closing Dutch Coal Mines 1966 – 1974, by Frank Teeuwisse (former plant director DSM)
'Just & In-Time Climate Policy' Paper on which the presentation by Dr. Maja Göpel (WBGU) was based
Session outcome letter by Folmer de Haan
The Network of European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC) organized a workshop on economic opportunities and the role of government in the sustainability transition of energy-intensive industries in Europe. The workshop was held at the Herman Teirlinck Building, in Brussels on 15 May 2018. Background With over 30,000 European companies and four million jobs in the EU , the energy-intensive industries are an important actor in the European economy. Although Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions decreased in nearly all energy-intensive industries , the sector as a whole still produces a quarter of all GHG emissions in the EU. In the next few decades, energy-intensive industries – from steel and aluminium to cement, chemicals and refineries – will have to continue making a contribution to the 80-95% reduction in GHG emissions stipulated in the Paris Agreement and the ambitions of the Energy Union strategy. At the same time, energy costs and policy measures should not harm the competitiveness of energy intensive industries in the European Union vis-à-vis their global competitors. The central objective is to create a sector that is sustainable from an ecological, social as well as economic perspective. Which topics will be addressed and who will attend? The EEAC Working Group on Energy and Climate Change focused on the economic opportunities that the sustainability transition offers to energy-intensive industries in the EU. Participants exchanged different approaches and the underlying views and expectations. Furthermore, participants exchanged knowledge and experiences, and discussed the possible role of government in the sustainability transition of energy-intensive industries in Europe. Three main questions were discussed: Ø What is the role of energy-intensive industries in the sustainable low-carbon economic future of the EU and its Member States? Ø What actions, including investments, need to be taken to ensure a successful industrial transformation process? Ø What mix of government policies is needed to achieve low-carbon production by the energy intensive industries? The workshop brought together a selected group of representatives of government, civil society and the energy intensive industries, as well as (scientific) experts and governmental advisors. Enclosed you will find the programme, some of the presentations given and the session’s outcome letter.
Industrial Decarbonisation The possible role of energy-intensive industries in the sustainable low-carbon economy future in the EU , by C. Egenhofer (CEPS)
What actions need to be taken to ensure a successful industrial transformation process?, by S. Samadi (Wuppertal Institute)
Session outcome letter by Ir. Folmer de Haan
In various European countries and regions, climate laws have been drawn up and implemented. The details of these laws and the experiences gained in their implementation differ from country to country and region to region. This rich variety of best practices and experiences should be shared in order to enable all parties to learn from one another, and to strengthen our knowledge base. Therefore, the EEAC Working Group on Energy and Climate Change orginized a workshop that focused on the latest insights with regard to the role, implementation and functioning of national and sub-national climate laws and committees, in the light of relevant policy developments related to the Paris Agreement and the Energy Union, as well as the latest developments at EU level.
Additional Information Flyer
EU climate law and its impact on national climate legislation by Prof. Peeters
Climate legislation in Europe: work in progress by Dr. Boot
The climate law in Finland by Prof. Ollikainen
The climate law in Catalonia by Salvador Samitier Martí
The climate law in the United Kingdom by Dr. Gault
Although a global energy transition already started, there is an urgent need to scale-up low-carbon investment flows in order to keep global warming well below 2°C and try to stay below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels –as established in the Paris Agreement. Developing and emerging economies will account for a major increase in global carbon emissions (to the tune of 20%) by 2035 under business as usual. To effectively curb emissions, an estimated US$90 trillion of Infrastructure investment is required globally by 2035. Public finance alone cannot bring about the transformation required. It is critical to identify effective policies that can reduce investment risks and project financing costs –with the aim of accelerating the mobilisation of private investment and making it consistent with NDCs. The Barcelona Climate Future debate did just that. The session built on actionable solutions to the challenge of higher investment risks in developing countries. It took an inclusive governance approach and encompassed all levels of climate action. The event took place in Barcelona and was was attended by over 50 high level participants
On Friday 17 February 2017, CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs), CADS (Advisory Council for the Sustainable Development of Catalonia) and IDDRI (Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations) organised the conference ‘Climate Futures: Financing the Low-carbon Energy Transition. The event enabled its attendance to analyse the investment challenges posed by the transition to a low-carbon energy system. Speakers included Nisrine Elkortbi (Director of Finance, Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy), Dan Lewis (Chief, Urban Risk Reduction Unit, UN Habitat), Gireesh Shrimali (Director, Climate Policy Initiative India) and EEAC Chairman Arnau Queralt-Bassa. EEAC has been a partner organization of the Climate Futures events since 2016.