HOW THE EUROPEAN UNION IS DEALING WITH CLIMATE CHANGE
Author : Matteo Aristei
2019, June 20th
By the years, the EU has developed environmental rules which are very important worldwide . The environmental policy helps to protect the natural heritage of Europe ,encouraging companies to develop a green economy and it protects the health and the welfare of European citizens .
The fight against climate change is fundamental for Europe . The European Commission wants to reduce the European dependence from imported fossil fuel and help families to produce their own energy . Europe has three proposals about renewable energy, energy efficiency and a control mechanism .
The prospective of an increase in energy prices and in the ever more higher dependence from imports weakens the reliability of energy supplies and damages the whole economy . Europe needs to take drastic decisions in order to reduce emissions and to mitigate climate change . In the next years enormous investments will be needed in order to set up a European energy infrastructure for future needs .
The EU energy policy aims to a safe energy supply which is guaranteed and sustainable at affordable prices . The strategy is based on ‘ 20 – 20 – 20 ’ objectives which Europe wants to reach within 2020 :
- The first objective is to reduce by 20 % the green – house gasses compared to 1990 levels
- 20 % of energy shall come from renewable sources
- The third objective is to improve of 20 % of energy performances
European leaders have also proposed to reduce 30 % of green-house gasses of EU if other big producers of emissions give their contribution .
The long – term objective is to reduce green – house emissions by 80 – 95 % compared to 1990 levels within 2050, guaranteeing the supply and the competitiveness . For this reason Eu leaders are currently putting in place a solid strategic framework for the energy and environment policy, to extend over 2020 . Such programme will supply safety to investors, will foster low carbon emissions technologies and will create jobs in the energy sector of Europe .
This framework will promote progresses towards a safe and competitive energy system . This programme wants to guarantee energy at affordable prices to everyone and to improve the safety of EU energy supply . Furthermore, it wants to reduce the dependence from energy imports and it wants to create new opportunities such as jobs and economic growth .
The energy efficiency is a central objective for 2020 and represents a key instrument to reach long – term European energy and environment objectives . A better efficiency is the more economically effective way to reduce emissions, make safer and more competitive the energy supply and to limit energy cost .
In order to improve this efficiency, the EU focuses on sectors which offer the best possibilities in terms of saving, such as public transportation and construction . Furthermore, smart meters and other eco – friendly measures help to consume less energy .
Plus, electricity and gas are transported thanks to nets which often go through national frontiers . Free trade of energy in Europe will promote competitive prices and more choice for consumers . Furthermore a better supply safety will be developed and there will be a solid framework for investments in new renewable technologies and infrastructures .
An internal market which works correctly, with enough transportation infrastructures and storage, is the best guarantee for supply safety : pushed by market mechanisms, the energy will flow where is needed . The EU aims to the complete integration of national energy markets .
Furthermore, without a technological conversion, the EU will not be able to reach its long – term ambitions and to reduce to the minimum the CO2 emissions made by electricity and transportation sectors . The strategic plan for energetic technologies establishes a mid – term strategy for all the sectors .
The development projects for the main technologies such as biofuels and smart nets have to go faster . Researchers and companies of Europe should intensify commitments in order to remain sate – of – the – art in the international market of energetic technologies, which is ever more increasing, and improve the cooperation with non – EU countries on specific technologies .
With more than 500 millions consumers, the EU energy market is the biggest regional market in the world and the main energy importer . Most of the objectives of Europe are common to other countries and they require an international cooperation .
Europe needs to reduce climate change, guaranteeing everybody the access of oil and gas and foster the technological development and increase energy efficiency .
The international energy policy must reach the common objectives of safety in the supply, in the competitiveness and sustainability . If relationships with production countries are fundamental, the relationships with big energy consumer countries are becoming more important , especially with developing country .
The European Emission Trading Scheme ( EU ETS ) is the backbone of the EU strategy in terms of climate change . It contributes to reduce emission through the minimum cost possible .
This system ( established in 2005 ) wants to decrease every year the amount of emissions produced by factories which consume a lot of energy ( such as power plants ). These companies have to give back allowances for every ton of CO2 they produce, and therefore they have an incentive to produce less emissions . Some sectors have their allowances for free, but now often companies buy them in auctions or from CO2 markets .
If today green – house emission weren ’t produced any more, the ones that are already present in the atmosphere would continue to affect the planet for decades , we don ’t have any choice : we have to adapt to climate change . The necessary actions range from new building regulations must be taken into account for future climatic conditions, the construction of flood defense systems or the development of drought – resistant crops . The Commission has defined a strategy to promote and facilitate adaptation throughout the EU .