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

Past, present, and future EU trade policy: a conversation with Commissioner Malmström

What was trade policy during the last European Commission? What will be the future of European trade under the next Commission?

Speakers: Cecilia Malmström, André Sapir and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: June 13, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

EU-LAC Economic Forum 2019: New perspectives in turbulent times

The third edition of the EU-LAC Economic Forum.

Speakers: Diego Acosta Arcarazo, Ignacio Corlazzoli, Maria Demertzis, Mauricio Escanero Figueroa, Alicia García-Herrero, Carmen González Enríquez, Bert Hoffmann, Edita Hrdá, Matthias Jorgensen, Juan Jung, Tobias Lenz, Carlos Malamud, J. Scott Marcus, Elena Pisonero, Belén Romana and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Global Economics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: June 11, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Brussels Policy Dialogue: Insights for EU and Member States’ Climate Agenda

The event is a policy dialogue organised under the project, 'COP21: Results and Implications for Pathways and Policies for Low Emissions European Societies'.

Speakers: Petya Icheva, David Morales, Artur Runge-Metzger, Oliver Sartor, Marta Torres-Gunfaus, Vincent Van Steenberghe and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: June 7, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

The Ukrainian economy: the way forward after a year of political turbulence

What can Ukraine do to foster economic growth? How can the EU and other international partners help Ukraine with this process?

Speakers: Olena Carbou, Marek Dabrowski, Elena Flores, Ivan Miklos and Hlib Vyshlinsky Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: May 28, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

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: Aleksandra Gawlikowska-Fyk, Christian von Hirschhausen, Carole Mathieu and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: May 15, 2019
Read article More on this topic

External Publication

Renewables for Energy Access and Sustainable Development in East Africa

This book, co-authored by Bruegel's Research Fellow Simone Tagliapietra, investigates the role of renewable energy in East Africa to provide policy-relevant inputs for the achievement of a cost-effective electrification process in the region.

By: Simone Tagliapietra, Manfred Hafner, Giacomo Falchetta and Giovanni Occhiali Topic: Energy & Climate Date: May 14, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Elections must put Europe on a path to a green future

We are at a pivotal moment for the future of Europe. It is an opportunity to reflect on the fundamental values and visions underlying the European project, and on the future direction of this common journey. Climate change should be at the centre of this reflection.

By: Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Energy & Climate Date: May 8, 2019
Read article Download PDF More on this topic

Working Paper

Estimating the cost of capital for wind energy investments in Turkey

Wind power represents a key component of Turkey’s national energy strategy. Based on data collected on 138 installations in the country, this paper provides an estimation of wind power’s cost of capital in Turkey. This analysis finds that the cost of capital for wind power in Turkey compares with the one of South-east European countries. On this basis, continued governmental commitment to current support schemes for wind power must be considered as crucial to further promote wind power deployment in the country, even if the recent devaluation of the Turkish lira raises the feed-in-tariffs cost for the government.

By: Gustav Fredriksson, Simone Tagliapietra and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Date: May 7, 2019
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

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
Load more posts