14 Jul 2021, 14:30

Covering the EU’s “Fit for 55” package of climate and energy laws

The European Union is getting ready for a major revamp of its climate and energy legislation to make the EU “Fit for 55” – its new 55 percent greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030. The European Commission presented its package of proposals on 14 July, unloading hundreds of pages on the public, which member states and the European Parliament will fight over in the coming months, if not years. The proposed changes will have a major impact on national policies across Europe and range from revising emissions trading and increasing renewables targets to introducing new CO2 limits for cars and vans. Disputes seem inevitable as, in many cases, countries have vastly different interest and points of departure. This factsheet is a toolbox for journalists who plan to cover the issue. It provides an overview of the package and a list of key experts to contact for interviews and background. [UPDATE adds Commission material from 14 July]

Content:

  1. What will happen, when and why?
  2. What is in the package?
  3. Experts to contact for interviews and background, listed by policy field
  4. Further reading

1. What will happen, when and why?

The European Union has agreed on a more ambitious 2030 climate target and now aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by “at least 55” percent. However, setting a target is one thing, reaching it is another.

That is why the EU has embarked on a lengthy legislative journey to introduce new or adapted measures and instruments to bring down emissions. With the Fit for 55 package, the European Commission is responsible for preparing the law reform proposals it deems necessary for the bloc to reach the new target. The package is the starting point for member state governments, the European Parliament and the Commission to debate and decide a complete overhaul of EU energy and climate legislation over the coming months and years. The new climate target and the Fit for 55 package are key components of the bloc’s green growth strategy – the European Green Deal.

On 14, 15 and 16 July, the Commission will present most of the package:

14 July:

The Commission holds a press conference around noon following the College (cabinet) meeting, with president Ursula von der Leyen, Executive Vice-President Timmermans, and Commissioners Simson, Gentiloni, Vălean, Sinkevičius and Wojciechowski on delivering the European Green Deal

Followed by a press conference by Executive Vice-President Timmermans and Commissioner Simson on energy and climate

15 July:

10:30 Press conference by Executive Vice-President Timmermans and Commissioner Gentiloni on the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and Energy Taxation

11:15 Press conference by Executive Vice-President Timmermans and Commissioner Vălean on making transport greener

16 July:

11:00 Press conference by Commissioners Wojciechowski and Sinkevičius on the Forest Strategy

All press conferences can be followed live here.

The Commission has in the past provided factsheets on key elements, as well as a press release. However, making sense of the myriad of proposals, their effects and the reception by key players is bound to be a difficult task.

2. What is in the package?

The European Commission presented these elements of the package on 14 July. Some of them are reforms of existing regulation, others are new proposals.

  • Revision of the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS), including revision of the EU ETS Directive concerning aviation, maritime and CORSIA
  • Revision of the Regulation on the inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF)
  • Effort Sharing Regulation
  • Amendment of the Renewable Energy Directive to implement the ambition of the new 2030 climate target
  • Amendment of the Energy Efficiency Directive to implement the ambition of the new 2030 climate target
  • ReFuelEU Aviation - sustainable aviation fuels
  • FuelEU Maritime – green European maritime space
  • Revision of the Directive on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure
  • Amendment of the Regulation setting CO2 emission standards for cars and vans
  • Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism
  • Revision of the Energy Tax Directive
  • Climate Action Social Facility
Graph shows legislative architecture to reach EU 2030 climate target. Source: European Union, 2021.
Source: European Union, 2021.

3. Experts to contact for interviews and background, listed by policy field

The press team of European Commission will answer all questions once the package is published – they usually do not comment on drafts before publication. The relevant contacts can be found below. The press office has said that national representations might offer off-the-record press briefings ahead of 14 July. You can find the right contact here to ask.

Most of the contacts listed below are EU-level experts. You can find more contacts in the factsheet Who sets the targets? Expert Q&A on European energy and climate policy.

If you are interested in the national view of a particular country, Clean Energy Wire has put together a European climate and energy expert database. Here, you can find national contacts from member states and sort them by topic. Most countries are online already, others will be added soon.

You can also use the Brussels Binder database to find a female expert on EU policy.

Last but not least, you can always get in touch with the team at Clean Energy Wire (info@cleanenergywire.org). We will provide information and connect you with the experts you are looking for.

 

GENERAL FIT FOR 55 PACKAGE

European Commission: Tim McPhie, Ana Crespo Parrondo, Lynn Rietdorf

For political comment, you can contact the larger parties or groups in the European Parliament. Find the press contacts here.

 

Analysts & researchers:

Agora Energiewende (think tank): Europe media contact Claire Stam (claire.stam@agora-energiewende.de) will guide you to the right expert

E3G (think tank): media contact – e.g. Manon Dufour (head of Brussels office)

Ecologic Institute: contact: Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf, Matthias Duwe

Florence School of Regulation (FSR): media contact Claudia Carella (Mariaclaudia.Carella@eui.eu)

Sebastian Oberthür, research professor environment & sustainable development, Institute for European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and University of Eastern Finland

Ariadne project (25+ German research institutions on energy transition): press contact: Sarah Messina (ariadne-presse@pik-potsdam.de) will guide you to the right researcher

 

For an industry perspective, check with umbrella organisation Business Europe: press contact Sofiya Yevchuk (s.yevchuk@businesseurope.eu)

 

There are many environmental NGOs with expertise on the issue, such as:

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe (NGO): press team – Cristina Dascalu (cristina@caneurope.org), Goksen Sahin (goksen@caneurope.org), Nina Tramullas (nina@caneurope.org)

Deutscher Naturschutzring (DNR) (German NGO): Antje Mensen (antje.mensen@dnr.de), EU climate & energy policy officer

WWF Europe, Greenpeace European Unit, Germanwatch

CLIMATE

EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS), CO2 for cars, Effort sharing, LULUCF

European Commission: Tim McPhie, Lynn Rietdorf

Energy Brainpool (consultancy): press contact: Lydia Bischof (lydia.bischof@energybrainpool.com)

Oliver Geden, senior fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), lead author for Working Group III & member of the Core Writing Team for Synthesis Report IPCC

ICIS (commodity intelligence service): Florian Rothenberg (florian.rothenberg@icis.com), Sebastian Rilling (sebastian.rilling@icis.com)

Refinitiv (financial markets data provider): media contactHæge Fjellheim , Ingvild Sørhus

The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK): press contact: Jonas Viering (Jonas.Viering@pik-potsdam.de)

Clean Air Task Force Europe (advocacy/think tank): press contact: Rowan Emslie (remslie@cleanairtaskforce.org)

ENERGY

Renewable Energy Directive (RED), Energy Efficiency Directive (EED)

European Commission: Tim McPhie, Ana Crespo Parrondo

Bruegel (think tank): press contact: Giuseppe Porcaro (giuseppe.porcaro@bruegel.org)

Ember (think tank): press contact: Hannah Broadbent (hannah@ember-climate.org)

Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP): Jan Rosenow

 

Energy industry groups:

European Renewable Energies Federation (EREF): press contact: Dirk Hendricks (dirk.hendricks@eref-europe.org)

WindEurope: press contact: Christoph Zipf (christoph.zipf@windeurope.org)

EUROSOLAR: press contact: Ines Bresler (ines.bresler@eurosolar.de)

SolarPower Europe: press contact: Lukas Clark-Memler (l.clarkmemler@solarpowereurope.org)

European Biogas Association: press contact: Angela Sainz Arnau (sainz@europeanbiogas.eu)

Eurogas: press contact: Bronagh O’Hagan (bronagh.ohagan@eurogas.org)

Eurelectric: press contact: Ioana Petcu (ipetcu@eurelectric.org)

European Alliance of Companies for Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EuroAce): Eva Brardinelli (eva.brardinelli@euroace.org)

European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE): Monica Frassoni (media contact: matteo.guidi@euase.eu)

TRANSPORT

AFID, Maritime + Aviation fuel initiatives

European Commission: Stefan de Keersmaecker

Transport & Environment (think tank): press contact: sam.hargreaves@transportenvironment.org, eoin.bannon@transportenvironment.org )

International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) (think tank): Peter Mock (peter@theicct.org)

European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) (interest group): press contact: communications@acea.auto

TAXATION

CBAM, Energy taxation Directive

European Commission: Daniel Sheridan Ferrie, Nerea Artamendi Erro

Michael Mehling (MIT): mmehling@mit.edu

European Roundtable on Climate Change and Sustainable Transition (ERCST): Andrei Marcu acmarcu@ercst.org)

Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA): Arjun Flora (media contact)

For international implications: Bruegel (think tank): Simone Tagliapietra

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