Energy Union

SAVE THE DATE | Sustainable City solutions: a central pillar for the next phase of the EU energy transition? (June 20)

We are delighted to invite you to a debate organised by PubAffairs Bruxelles which will be held on Tuesday the 20th of June at 19.00 at the premises of Science14 Atrium, rue de la Science, 14-B, Brussels. The event will consist of a debate about sustainable city solutions as a central pillar for the next phase of the EU energy transition.

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Although speakers and event details will be announced in the coming days, we publish this event now to make sure you save the date.

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This event is kindly sponsored by

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Within the framework of

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About the debate

The executive body of the European Union announced its willingness “to lead the energy transition, not only adapt to it. For this reason, the EU has committed to cut CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030 while modernising the EU’s economy and delivering on jobs and growth for all European citizens”.  The bold stance of the European Commission has multiple goals: firstly, the fostering of the modernisation of European economy and society in order to remain coherent with the obligations stemming from both the issue of climate change and the commitments of the Paris agreement. Secondly, this policy setting should not only lower both the demand and the dependency on fossil fuels, but should also lower energy costs for EU citizens who could eventually benefit from a more sustainable environment by the use of affordable and advanced solutions.

Ambitious climate goals and respective measures to reduce CO2 emissions as part of the overall Energy Union goals present enormous challenges to cities and communities alike. In addition, cities of all scale will play a crucial role in the next phase of the energy transition towards a low-carbon society. While urban infrastructure needs to be transformed into an active player in the energy system, smart networks will connect urban and rural areas, where the massive deployment of renewable energies in Europe happened in the first place. Districts of all kinds are the nucleus of sustainable development. With decentralised and highly efficient energy solutions for new development areas and renovation projects, communities can actively shape a climate neutral environment. Furthermore, dense urbanized areas are ideal platforms for coupling together different sectors, e.g. electricity with heating and transport.

While smart meter applications and devices, as part of  the development of a vision to integrate information and communication technology (ICT) and Internet of things (IoT), are the crucial enablers of the vision of sustainable city solutions, an adequate level of financing for the transition towards a low carbon energy economy is also of prior importance for the environmental and economic sustainability of the whole of the EU in the years to come. Smart city solutions could, for example, allow for proper energy storage and water and sewage treatment, as well as for smart metering and environmental monitoring. However, the policy solutions  of a more sustainability-friendly EU are encountering a series of challenges.

The Clean Energy Package addresses the above mentioned issues, from local energy communities and self-consumption to smartness indicators for buildings, to long-term renovation strategy and infrastructure for E-mobility, just to mention a few. For instance, while the review of these elements is still under scrutiny, digital solutions and big data still need to be fully integrated, while the questions of data privacy and cyber security are further complicating the findings of integrated policy solutions. Last but not least, the financial side of innovative green projects has often been pointed out by experts and officials as the weak link in the chain.

Sustainable City solutions: a central pillar for the next phase of the EU energy transition?

This event will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Participants are free to use the information received but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the attendees may be revealed. For this reason, unless explicitly authorised by PubAffairs Bruxelles, the filming and/or the recording of the event by any means are strictly forbidden.

The event will commence with a welcome drink at 7h00 pm, followed by a panel debate at 7.30 pm. After the panel debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.


We look forward to seeing you at 7h00 pm on the 20th of June at Science14 Atrium, rue de la Science 14-B, Brussels.

All our debates are followed by a drink in a convivial atmosphere.

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(EN) Photo Album | Debate | ETS and renewables: a win-win strategy? (March 21)

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INVITATION | Debate | ETS and renewables: a win-win strategy? (March 21)

We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion on the link between the European emission trading system (ETS) and renewables with our distinguished speakers Mr Peter Zapfel, Head of Unit, ETS Policy Development and Auctioning, European Commission, Mr Ruud Kempener, Policy Officer, Renewables and CCS Policy Unit, European Commission, Mr Michel Matheu, Head of EU strategy, EDF, and Mr Daniel Fraile, Senior Analyst, Wind Europe.

Mr Florent Le Strat, Researcher and Expert, Climate policy R&D, EDF, will hold an introductory speech about a recent EDF study entitled “Towards a successful coordination of climate energy policies”

The debate will be moderated by Hughes Belin, freelance journalist

This event was kindly sponsored by

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About the debate

The emission trading system (ETS) revision, one of the European Union’s pivotal policy instruments for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) for the period 2021-2030, has been approved by the European Parliament’s plenary vote in mid-February and is now to be discussed under the lead of the Maltese Presidency. Given the width of the scope, the European and international repercussion of the EU decision-making on climate change, as well as the issues at stake for the industry, the draft law has this far been object of intense discussions. Many commentators and policy makers are not convinced that this setting will be sufficient to strengthen the climate-change ambition of the ETS.One of the reasons is that the more general issue of ensuring a cost-effective energy transition has been set aside. The difficulties in maintaining consistency between the ETS and so-called ‘overlapping policies’ might well have been under-estimated. In particular, the interplay between the reform and the growth of power generation from renewable sources is a crucial factor for a cost-effective energy transition and has been overshadowed by the request for exemptions for specific economic sectors.

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Amplifying the contribution of cities to Energy Union: Launch of the EU Covenant of Mayors Board | European Commission – Daily News

Today Friday, Vice-President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič represents the European Commission at the launch of the EU Covenant of Mayors Board in Brussels. The establishment of the Board of Mayors will strengthen the political role of the EU Covenant of Mayors in contributing towards the modernisation of the European economy, meet emission reduction commitments and towards the completion of the Energy Union, one of the flagship initiatives of the Juncker Commission. As two thirds of the EU’s population live in urban areas, cities and their mayors are key to handling challenges like air pollution, traffic congestion and energy-efficient housing. “The EU Covenant of Mayors shows that when local leaders share a vision of a modern and clean future and roll up their sleeves, things get done. Never before have so many cities joined forces, eager to inspire each other and committed to collectively taking the path to a low-carbon, resilient society. Setting up a board of mayors will strengthen the EU’s Covenant’s impact even more, in Europe as well as globally, through the Global Covenant of Mayors“, said Vice-President Šefčovič ahead of today’s launch. Board members are expected to campaign for enabling frameworks for local climate and energy action; as well as raising awareness about various local needs.  In June 2016, the EU Covenant of Mayors and the Compact of Mayors launched the Global Covenant of Mayors, the largest global coalition of cities which is committed to climate change mitigation, adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change and universal access to secure, clean and affordable energy.

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Energy Union: The EU tackles growing aviation emissions | European Commission – Daily News

The Commission is amending the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) making it fit for tackling CO2 emissions from aviation. This comes following an agreement by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to stabilise international aviation emissions.The European Union is a leading advocate for addressing fast-growing emissions from aviation. At the 2016 ICAO Assembly, the European Union and its Member States played an instrumental role in securing a deal on a global market-based measure to stabilise international aviation emissions. The system will require airlines to monitor and report their annual CO2 emissions on international routes and offset those exceeding 2020 levels. Following this deal at global level, a revision of the EU Emissions Trading System is needed to maintain the contribution of the aviation sector to the European climate objectives and for the smooth implementation of the ICAO Global Market-Based Measure. The Commission is proposing to continue with the current geographic scope of the EU Emissions Trading System for aviation, covering flights between airports in the European Economic Area. This will ensure a level playing field and equal treatment of all airlines flying in Europe. Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “With this proposal we are making sure that the aviation sector also contributes to our climate objectives. Now, we call on countries around the world to participate in the global scheme from the beginning and help us finalise and implement sound environmental criteria to deliver real emissions reductions in the aviation sector.” Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “Following ICAO’s landmark agreement, the European Union is now focused on getting the global scheme up and running. We are serious about achieving carbon neutral growth for aviation, and we will provide technical and financial assistance to make it happen. Aviation is a global business and no country can be left behind!”

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Start of the 2017 Energy Union tour: Vice-President Šefčovič visits Breda and Rotterdam | European Commission – Daily News

Tomorrow Friday, Vice-President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič kicks-off the 2017 Energy Union tour with a visit to the Dutch cities of Breda and Rotterdam. Following Wednesday’s publication of the Second State of the Energy Union Report, the Commission now uses the new Energy Union Tour to drive the implementation of Energy Union objectives across Europe throughout 2017. “The new Energy Union tour is designed to raise the awareness of investors for the huge opportunities offered by the fundamental modernisation of Europe’s entire economy, making it low-carbon, energy and resource efficient. Both Breda and Rotterdam are positive examples for other cities across the whole continent“, said Vice-President Šefčovič ahead of the visit to the Netherlands. In Breda, Vice-President Šefčovič will visit several renewable energy projects. In Rotterdam, he will meet with the mayors of The Hague and Rotterdam, Jozias Van Aartsen and Ahmed Aboutaleb.

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State of the Energy Union: Europe’s energy transition on track | European Commission – Daily News

In line with its commitment to report annually on the state of the Energy Union, the European Commission is publishing today its second State of the Energy Union Report. This report looks at the progress made since the publication of the first State of the Energy Union in November 2015. In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and renewable energy, Europe is well on track to reach its 2020 targets. To further drive this process, the Commission today is announcing a new Energy Union tour. Maroš Šefčovič, the Vice-President responsible for the Energy Union, said: “The Energy Union is about more than energy and climate; it is about accelerating the fundamental modernisation of Europe’s entire economy, making it low-carbon, energy and resource efficient, in a socially fair manner. Now that a large part of the relevant legislative proposals are on the table, 2017 should be the year of implementation. This message I will bring to Member States during the new Energy Union tour, which I will launch on 3 February”. Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said: “Europe is well on track to meet its 2020 climate and energy targets. Despite the current geopolitical uncertainties, Europe is forging ahead with the clean energy transition. Renewable energy is now cost-competitive and sometimes cheaper than fossil fuels, employs over one million people in Europe, and has reduced our fossil fuels imports bill by €16 billion.”

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INVITATION | Debate | Sustainable mobility, energy and innovation: paths towards a low-emission transport system (December 7)

We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening discussion about the challenges of sustainable mobility and the path towards a low-emission transport system in the EU.

Mr Nikolaus von Peter, Member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Violeta Bulc, will hold a keynote speech.

The first panel debate will concern urban and electric mobility with our distinguished speakers:

  • Mr Helmut Morsi, Adviser, Transport Network, DG MOVE
  • Mr Patrick Gagnol, Project Manager, EDF – Mobilité Electrique
  • A representative of BYD Auto

The second panel debate will concern land and water transports with our distinguished speakers:

  • Ms Henna Virkkunen MEP (EPP/FI)
  • Ms Valentina Infante, Head of small scale LNG businesses, Edison
  • Mr Clément Chandon, Responsible for Gas Business Development, Iveco

The debate will be moderated by Hughes Belin, freelance journalist

This event was kindly sponsored by

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With the support of

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About the debate

Sustainable transport is one of the most promising areas – and challenging issues – that the European Union faces: transport use in Europe is growing and is already directly responsible for a quarter of carbon emissions. In order to improve efficiency and contribute to climate and environmental goals, the European Commission is promoting a strategy that recognises that sustainable transport is ‘an essential component of the broader shift to the low-carbon, circular economy needed for Europe to stay competitive and be able to cater to the needs of people and goods’.

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Vice-President Šefčovič in Berlin tomorrow | European Commission – Announcements

Tomorrow, Vice-President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič will be in Berlin where he is meeting Germany’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier to discuss the Energy Union. Afterwards, Vice-President Šefčovič participates in an event organised by the EurActiv Institute on the “State of the Energy Union: Decisive Challenges for Germany” where he will deliver the keynote speech and participate in a panel discussion. In the afternoon, Vice-President Šefčovič will deliver another speech on the “State of Play of Energy Union – Outlook and Priorities” in the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Germany. “Energiewende and Energy Union belong together. The added value of the EU makes sure that all national efforts to increase energy efficiency, including the effort underway in Germany, fully unfold their impact for the benefit of all Europeans“, said Vice-President Šefčovič ahead of the visit.

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Energy Union: Vice-President Šefčovič at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul | European Commission – Announcements

Today Vice-President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič is participating in the 23rd World Energy Congress in Istanbul, Turkey. Organised by the World Energy Council, this forum brings together international experts to discuss key energy issues. Vice-President Šefčovič is meeting with Berat Albayrak, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey; giving a keynote speech entitled “The Role of Gas in the Low Carbon Transition”; and speaking at the Bosphorus Energy Club on the external dimension of the Energy Union. In addition, Vice-President Šefčovič isalso meeting with Adnan Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Ahead of the event, the Vice-President said “The EU is the biggest importer of natural gas in the world. Diversification of supply sources is therefore paramount both for energy security as well as for competitiveness. We aim to see gas flowing through the Southern Gas Corridor by 2020”.

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