EU issues investment guide to help combat climate change, Romania advised to phase out energy subsidies

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Europe sought to increase the flow of money into businesses that tackle climate change on Tuesday with the publication of European Commission guidelines on what qualifies an investment as environmentally friendly.

The European Union has agreed to substantial reductions of carbon emissions by 2030 and its executive wants the bloc to reduce them to zero by 2050 to help stop global warming, the rise of average worldwide temperatures, euronews.com informs.

In order to cut emissions by 2030, many sectors of the economy, such as manufacturing or energy, need an additional annual investment of EUR 180 billion and even more is needed to achieve zero emissions by 2050.

The Commission said the purpose of its 414-page report was to generate more investments or redirect existing funds and to help reach the emissions targets.

EC recommendations for Romania

The EC recommendation for Romania, issued on June 18, 2019 on the draft integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) of Romania covering the period 2021-2030. According to the European Commission report, Romania is to take action to:

  • Significantly raise  the  level  of  ambition  for  2030  to  a  renewable  share  of  at  least  34 % as Romania’s contribution to the Union’s 2030 target for renewable energy;
  • Put forward  detailed  and  quantified  policies  and  measures  that  are  in  line  with  the  obligations  laid  down  in  Directive  (EU)  2018/2001  of  the  European  Parliament  and  Council8,  to  enable  a  timely  and  cost-effective achievement of this contribution;
  • put in  place  measures  to  simplify  the  licensing  and  permitting procedures and provide additional details on the enabling frameworks for renewable self-consumption and renewable energy communities;
  • Substantially increase  the  ambition  for  reducing  both  final  and  primary  energy  consumption in 2030 in view of the need to increase the level of efforts to reach the Union’s   2030   energy   efficiency   target;
  • Specify the measures supporting the energy security objectives on diversification and reduction of  energy  dependency,  in  particular  measures  ensuring  flexibility  and  a  robust   gas   diversification   strategy   including   relevant   underlying   infrastructure   projects   and   the   elimination   of   the   undue   restrictions   to   investments   in   gas production considering the regional potential of the reserves in the Black Sea;
  • Define forward-looking  objectives  and  targets  concerning  market  integration,  in  particular  measures  to  develop  liquid  and  competitive  wholesale  and  retail  markets,  both by fostering competition within the country and by eliminating barriers to cross-border trade, including export restrictions. Address the negative impact of wholesale price  regulation  and  provide  a  clear  outlook  to  ensure  compliance  of  national  legislation with Union law;
  • Clarify the  national  objectives  and  funding  targets  in  research,  innovation  and  competitiveness,  specifically  related  to  the  Energy  Union,  to  be  achieved  between  2020 and 2030;
  • Intensify regional   cooperation   with   neighbouring   Member   States   and   within   established  regional  cooperation  frameworks  such  as  the  Central  and  South-Eastern Europe  Energy  Connectivity  (CESEC)  High  Level  Group  including  in  gas  and  electricity infrastructure, renewables, energy efficiency and research, innovation and competitiveness, and taking into account common challenges and shared objectives;
  • Extend its  analysis  of  investment  needs  and  risks  provided  for  its  Energy  Strategy objectives,  to  a  general  overview  of  investment  needs  to  reach  the  objectives  of  its  integrated  national  energy  and  climate  plan;
  • List all   energy   subsidies,   including   in   particular   for fossil fuels,   and   actions undertaken as well as plans to phase them out;
  • Include an analysis of the interactions with air quality and air emissions policy with the required  information  about  the  projected  air  pollutants  emissions  under  the  planned policies and measures;
  • Integrate just  and  fair  transition  aspects  better,  notably  by  considering  social  and  employment  impacts,  listing  more  concrete  measures  and  timeframes  to  address  energy  poverty,  as  required  by  the  Regulation  (EU)  2018/1999.  (excerpts from the EC report)

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