Crucial Energy Council meeting to discuss the Winter Package

EU Energy ministers are meeting today under the leadership of the Maltese Presidency to have a first discussion on the Winter Packaged adopted by the Commission on 30 November 2016. This meeting is important as it will set the scene for two years of intense negotiations in the Parliament and in the Council on the 8 pieces of legislation proposed in the package. I believe that the Commission needs to deliver more than 5 000 pages of draft legislative proposals, it needs to offer Member States visible accompanying measures and enabling policies to create a better perception of the proposed energy and climate governance. It is about proposing a more investors-friendly framework for energy efficiency, linking the governance of the energy union with financial instruments such as the EFSI, promoting flagship projects for the electricity market and renewable energy sources (offshore wind in the Northern Seas and in the Baltic Sea, de-risking financial vehicle for green investments in South-Eastern Europe and around the Mediterranean, promotion of energy citizens all over Europe…). This will allow Member States to phase-out environmentally harmful fossil fuel subsidies in a quicker manner. One of the key measures proposed by the Winter Package is the establishment of emissions performances standards set to 550 gCO2/MW to prevent public support to new coal installations. This measure is of utmost importance and need to be kept in the text again the pressure of coal countries such as Poland. In the wake of COP 21, the EU will lose all credibility if it does not actively ban the construction of new coal-fired power plants.

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