Past Event

How will the Paris agreement impact EU climate and energy policies?

The COP21 negotiations in Paris resulted in ambitious targets but little detail on implementation. Which measures should the EU now take? Bruegel was pleased to welcome Commissioner Cañete for a discussion on the proposed Commission Work Programme for 2016.

Date: February 8, 2016, 12:30 pm Topic: Energy & Climate

Summary

See below for event materials, video and photos.

All speakers agreed that COP21 has signaled a clear determination to transition to a low-carbon global economy. There was also a general agreement that EU emissions targets and ETS will have to be revised at some point, and that gas will have a bridging role in the energy transition. However, the exact impact the Agreement might have on EU climate and energy policies was less clear. There were doubts about European coordination and risks for successful implementation of market-led strategies.

Reflecting on the negotiations, Commissioner Cañete argued that the EU had maintained its leading role in climate politics. The unanimous EU position, ambitious Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and technical support for developing countries had given real weight to EU “climate diplomacy”. The EU is pushing ahead with ratification, and should aim to be amongst the early adopters.

Hard legislation such as ETS will always lead to decarbonisation, but in an environment of extremely low energy prices, there may be incentives to disinvestment or inefficient investment decisions. The externality of carbon-provoked climate damage will have to be factored in if markets are to deliver, as price signals are currently inappropriate. This situation has damaged investment in clean energy and makes it more difficulty to change consumer behaviour. Professor Luciani believes that oil producing countries are now foreseeing a full phase-out of fossil fuels in the coming decades, and are therefore rushing to dump as much easy-access cheap oil on the market while there are still buyers – rather than slowing production to manipulate prices and investing in expensive extraction of new sources.

When faced with the question of how to internalise carbon damage costs effectively, Commissioner Cañete accepted the need for a major reform of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). However, he insisted that it is better to improve on the existing ETS than scrap it and implement untested alternatives such as a carbon tax. He pointed to China and the USA as regions where some form of carbon trading is being introduced.

Looking ahead to the implementation of the Agreement, many speakers stressed the “revolutionary” nature of the changes needed by the mid-century point. Commissioner Cañete mentioned several arenas in which the Commission would seek to take control: inclusion of agriculture and forestry in emissions policies; focusing energy efficiency programmes on transport and buildings; pushing investment on gas interconnectors and demand-responsive electricity grids that can incorporate and distribute renewable energy.

Hendrik Bourgeois said that the impact of Paris will be limited if Europe does not make a sustained and coordinated long-term commitment to investment and innovation in energy. There is currently a huge investment gap, which he blamed on regulatory risk, especially at the national level.  If this were stabilised, the market would be better placed to find the most cost-effective form of decarbonisation. Likewise, Georg Zachmann argued that it is currently not markets but government schemes which are the main driver of investment decisions.  These schemes frequently diverge in structure and technology preference between member states, and he sees a “renationalisation” of energy policies. However the sheer ambition of the Paris agreement could revitalize European coordination.

Summary by Augustin Lagarde, Research Intern

Event materials

Speech | Commissioner Cañete

VIDEO RECORDING

Event Photos

Schedule

Feb 08, 2016

12:30-13:00

Check-in and lunch

13:00-13:30

Presentation

Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, European Commission

13:30-14:00

Comments

Georg Zachmann, Senior Fellow

Giacomo Luciani, Adjunct Professor, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

Hendrik Bourgeois, Vice President European Affairs, GE

14:00-14:30

Q&A session

Chair: Ewa Krukowska, EU Reporter, Bloomberg News

14:30

End

Speakers

Hendrik Bourgeois

Vice President European Affairs, GE

Miguel Arias Cañete

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, European Commission

Ewa Krukowska

EU Reporter, Bloomberg News

Giacomo Luciani

Adjunct Professor, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

Georg Zachmann

Senior Fellow

Location & Contact

Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels

Matilda Sevón

matilda.sevon@bruegel.org +32 2 227 4212

Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Spitzenkandidaten series: Frans Timmermans

The sixth event in the The Road to Europe - Brussels Briefing Live: Spitzenkandidaten series. The series features the lead candidates for the European Elections of six parties and is jointly organised by Bruegel and the Financial Times in March and April 2019.

Speakers: Mehreen Khan, André Sapir and Frans Timmermans Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: April 11, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Spitzenkandidaten series: Manfred Weber

The fifth event in the The Road to Europe - Brussels Briefing Live: Spitzenkandidaten series. The series features the lead candidates for the European Elections of six parties and is jointly organised by Bruegel and the Financial Times in March and April 2019.

Speakers: Anne-Sylvaine Chassany, Manfred Weber and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: April 9, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Upcoming Event

May
15
12:30

How do national energy policies fit into EU decarbonisation plans?

Through considering several different national perspectives, we discuss how to reconcile the EU Climate Strategy targets with national energy and climate policies.

Speakers: Maciej Burny, Carole Mathieu, Christian von Hirschhausen and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Spitzenkandidaten series: Jan Zahradil

The fourth event in the The Road to Europe - Brussels Briefing Live: Spitzenkandidaten series. The series features the lead candidates for the European Elections of six parties and is jointly organised by Bruegel and the Financial Times in March and April 2019.

Speakers: Jim Brunsden, Maria Demertzis and Jan Zahradil Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: April 4, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Spitzenkandidaten series: Luis Garicano

The third event in the The Road to Europe - Brussels Briefing Live: Spitzenkandidaten series. The series features the lead candidates for the European Elections of six parties and is jointly organised by Bruegel and the Financial Times in March and April 2019.

Speakers: Luis Garicano, Mehreen Khan and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: April 3, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Spitzenkandidaten series: Bas Eickhout

The second event in the The Road to Europe - Brussels Briefing Live: Spitzenkandidaten series. The series features the lead candidates for the European Elections of six parties and is jointly organised by Bruegel and the Financial Times in March and April 2019.

Speakers: Bas Eickhout, Guntram B. Wolff and Rochelle Toplensky Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: April 2, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Rethinking industrial policy in the digital age: challenges for Europe

All-day conference about how the European policy-making will have to adapt to the digital transformation.

Speakers: Philipp-Bastian Brutscher, Teunis Brosens, Maarten Camps, Lise Fuhr, Padmashree Gehl Sampath, Andreas Geiss, Tony Graziano, Mathew Heim, Thorsten Käseberg, Thomas Kramler, Robert Kroplewski, Timothy Lamb, J. Scott Marcus, Philip Marsden, Jan Mischke, Joakim Reiter, Megan Richards, Valentino Rossi, Marietje Schaake, Reinhilde Veugelers, Guntram B. Wolff and Georg Zachmann Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 21, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

A new climate strategy for the EU

At a pivotal point in time, three major EU sides come together to discuss the future climate strategy.

Speakers: Silke Karcher, Andrei Marcu, Raffaele Mauro Petriccione, Kathleen Van Brempt and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 19, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Law and macroeconomics: legal responses to recessions

This event will feature an academic lecture on the use of law as a macroeconomic tool.

Speakers: Yair Listokin and Maria Demertzis Topic: Global Economics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 12, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Saving the right to asylum

How to improve the European asylum policy?

Speakers: Karen Mets, Nicolas Bauquet, Marc-Olivier Padis, Elina Ribakova, Jean-Paul Tran Thiet and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: March 5, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Diverging narratives: European policies and national perceptions

Who tends to get the blame for the Euro crisis in national media? What do national politicians think about the EU and EMU?

Speakers: Pierre Boyer, Juha Pekka Nurvala, Giuseppe Porcaro and Laura Shields Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: February 27, 2019
Read article More by this author

Podcast

Podcast

Backstage: The next decade of European energy transition

This episode of 'The Sound of Economics' features Bruegel research fellow Simone Tagliapietra in conversation with Sir Philip Lowe and Alberto Pototschnig about the progress of the European energy transition as we prepare to enter the third decade of the 21st century.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Energy & Climate, European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: February 26, 2019
Load more posts