‘Lacklustre’ EU Climate Package Still Shows Policy Stability Compared to U.S.
The European Union tabled a 1,000-page-plus clean energy package last week, aimed at accelerating clean energy innovation and establishing ground rules for a function energy market.
“The signal that the EU is sending is that there is political consensus to go down the clean energy route,” said Michael Jacobs of the London-based Institute for Public Policy. “Donald Trump is not shifting us one inch, one centimetre from this path.”
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As expected, the policy package released by EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete increased the continent’s 2030 energy efficiency target from 27 to 30%, a measure that was “sold as cutting reliance on Russian gas and creating 400,000 jobs, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Climate Home reports.
Although European climate and energy groups called the basket of measures “lacklustre”, “disappointing”, and “politically cautious”, CH correspondent Megan Darby comments that “its very continuity is a welcome contrast to the upset across the Atlantic, where Donald Trump’s election three weeks ago threatens to reverse eight years of progress.”
The reality for Europe is that “Brussels has a more stable mandate, having thrashed out the broad direction of next decade’s climate and energy policy between 28 member states in 2014,” Darby writes. “National governments may come and go—and the UK is set to leave by 2019—but generally European Commission policy-makers stick to their course.”
On the other hand, “that works both ways. It prevents backsliding, but also forestalls a rapid upturn in ambition following last year’s landmark UN climate deal in Paris.”