Reply to the EC Green paper on Framing 2030 climate and energy policy, stressing LRAs role in the field of energy and climate change. In the Green Paper, LRAs are not mentioned once, which contrast with previous strategies on the same topic for 2020 and 2050.
React to COP19 results
The EU inter-institutional calendar lead the Committee of the Regions to favour an intense work towards the European Parliament for a close collaboration and a stronger voice advocating for a high level of ambition, the recognition of the role of local and regional authorities, and the further support of the European Commission for the production of clean decentralised energy.
The Committee of the Regions worked with two main focuses:
• One on the ENVI rapporteur, Anne Delvaux (EPP/BE), of the European Parliament.
• One on the Members of the ENVI Committee of the European Parliament for amendments.
Deadline for the EP rapporteur to table amendments was 12 November. At this time the CoR opinion was ready, however not adopted. Therefore the CoR rapporteur sent at the request of the EP rapporteur, positions explaining the key role of LRAs and their need for support in the field of climate and energy policies.
This resulted in the EP rapporteur tabling 4 amendments in her draft report (drafted together with another co-rapporteur).
K. Whereas local and regional levels play an essential role in promoting and implementing measures to move towards a low carbon economy;
16a (new) Recognises the importance of the regional and local levels in the climate and energy issues; Recommends the Commission to support and encourage the local and regional levels in the Member State, especially via targeted development of financing programs in climate and energy field;
28. Ter Asks the Commission to implement its set of key employment actions for the low carbon economy, to promote greater use of the EU financial instruments available for Member States, regional and local levels as well as for private sectors for smart low carbon investments, for instance by engaging with the European Investment Bank to boost further its capacity to lend in the field of resource efficiency and renewable energy;
35a (new) Asks the Commission to improve the promotion and efficiency of the existing financial tools (e.g. NER300) for low carbon investments by gathering all the necessary information on financial possibilities for national, regional and local levels into a single, clear and easily available data base;
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- underlines the key relevance and role of the local and regional level in developing approaches to climate change and to the communities of the future; therefore deeply regrets the fact that local and regional authorities and the climate protection and energy saving measures they have already implemented have not once been mentioned in the Green Paper;
- recommends that the legally binding target for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the EU as a whole be set at 50% of 1990 levels by 2030, and insists that the Member States should agree separately amongst themselves on how to share the burden of emissions cuts;
- deeply regrets very low level of ambition presented in the EC Communication on "A policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030" and considers it essential that binding targets be set respectively for renewable energy (not only an EU-wide target of 27% and voluntary for Member States) and energy efficiency in addition to the overall emissions reduction target;
- is deeply concerned about the lack of funding opportunities at local and regional level and about the ongoing economic crisis, which hinder the central task of local and regional authorities in mitigating climate change and developing opportunities to adapt to it;
- considers it essential to be able to phase out subsidies for non-renewable energy and re-direct them towards renewable energy and energy efficiency; any auction revenues from continuing emissions trading, or any tax revenues if moving towards a carbon tax, must be directed towards effective measures by the Member States to mitigate and adapt to climate change;
- believes that energy independence and security of supply could be strengthened by further developing the single market for energy with the help of new interconnectors, small-scale energy production by consumers themselves, energy storage and smart grids, for example, and that diversity of sustainable energy sources acts as a buffer against price fluctuations;
- believes it is crucial to improve advice aimed at different consumer and demographic groups and to enhance the professional expertise of those responsible for using energy.