State of the Energy Union does little to progress EU energy transition

EEB Reactions Press Release

Brussels, 18 November 2015

Today’s State of the Energy Union address by European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic contained a lot of words, but there was little of substance and it will do little to help boost the energy transition in Europe.

Roland Joebstl, Climate and Energy Policy Officer at the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), said:

Our concerns that the Energy Union will be undermined by ineffective governance dominated by vague pillars and dimensions, instead of a clear set of rules and targets, have only become greater. Blame for this lies with Member States, the UK in particular, but it is the Commission that needs to show leadership.“

Today’s address lacks progress on energy efficiency, renewables and climate protection. Ahead of the COP in Paris there is no justification for this. Key legislative proposals for European energy and climate policies scheduled for 2016 must lead to a coordinated approach based on solid laws and underpinned by solid evidence showing the benefits of efficiency and renewables for the environment, jobs and security of supply. 

The only concrete result from today is the adoption of a list of priority infrastructure projects (the so-called second list of projects of common interest). But the mission of transforming Europe’s energy infrastructure has been misused by Member States to come up with a wish list that is far from realistic. Further investments in oil and gas pipelines will lock-in continued dependence on fossil fuels in Europe. 

One glimmer of hope is the reduction in the number of LNG terminals in the list. Member States had proposed a total of 21 LNG terminals across Europe, but only eight are today deemed as projects of common interest.“It is good to see these pipe dreams sidelined as they are a potential waste of money and not in line with the EU’s long-term climate objectives,” said Joebstl.

For further information:

Philippa Nuttall Jones, EEB Senior Communications Officer, 0032 (0) 4 71 57 81 01,