14 Jan 2021, 10:05

What’s next in Europe? – Timeline of European climate and energy policy

EU
Journalists! Mark your calendars – or rather let us do it for you. Europe is complicated and even journalists from EU member states sometimes struggle to understand how climate and energy policy is made, and when institutions take key decisions. This timeline flags key European energy and climate reporting events and developments and includes concise background information necessary to jump-start your coverage. [Update adds G7 summit]

You can find more information on European climate and energy events and developments in the European Parliament’s European Green Deal legislative train schedule, in the event calendar of the German Council presidency, and in the Council’s press calendar.

2021

Date Sometime in 2021 (tbc)
Event Additional UN climate talks
Subject Key UN climate bodies usually meet twice a year – once in Bonn to prepare the big UN climate conference, and then at varying locations. Media reported possible additional UNFCCC climate talks to make up for time and talks lost to the coronavirus pandemic. These could mean the EU wants as much as possible done by then to spearhead its global climate action drive ahead of COP26 in Glasgow. A decision/date has not been set.
Press contact UNFCCC

 

Date Sometime in 2021
Event 6th  African Union-European Union Summit
Subject Every three years, the AU-EU summit brings together EU and African leaders to define the future direction for cooperation between the two continents. Due to COVID-19, the summit was postponed to 2021.
Press contact Barend Leyts, European Council

 

Date 2021
Event Start of ordinary operation NordLink
Subject The first direct connection between power markets in Germany and Norway, the 623 kilometre long 1,400 MW high-voltage DC “NordLink” is currently being tested. It is supposed to increase supply security and enable the exchange of renewable energy, in particular hydropower and wind energy, between the two countries. Testing of the interconnector will continue until December 2020, before NordLink is put into full trial operation. Ordinary operations start in 2021. The NordLink project is owned 50 percent by Norwegian TSO Statnett and 50 percent by German partners TenneT and KfW.
Press contact Mathias Fischer, TenneT

 

Date 25 January
Event Climate adaptation summit
Subject The Netherlands government will host an online international Climate Adaptation Summit.
Press contact Roel Vincken, infrastructure ministry

 

Date early February (TBD)
Event next round of political trilogue talks on EU climate law
Subject

After technical negotiations in January, the Council, Parliament and Commission are set to continue political talks on the planned climate law. Critical issues are a proposed expert council on climate, and the 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target.

Press contact

Barendt Leyts, European Council, Thomas Haahr, European Parliament

 

Date 25-26 March
Event European Council
Subject

At their meeting in December 2020, EU leaders agreed to return to details of how to implement a new 2030 target before the Commission publishes the bulk of its "Fit for 55 package" by June. "The European Council will return to the matter and adopt additional guidance in time before the Commission puts forward its proposals. The future of the Effort Sharing Regulation will be tackled on this occasion," read the conclusions. So, leaders could debate it at this meeting. This is one of four regular meetings of EU heads of state and government as the European Council. It is set to be the first meeting under the Portuguese EU Council presidency.

Press contact Barendt Leyts, European Council

 

Date April (tbc)
Event European Commission holds Green Taxation Event
Subject

The European Commission will invite stakeholders to talk about green taxation, i.e. also the carbon border tax plans. It can be assumed that the Commission will have worked out details for several options of how to introduce such a mechanism by this date, an EU official told Clean Energy Wire.

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date 22 April
Event

Informal meeting of EU energy ministers

Subject

The Portuguese EU Council presidency invites EU energy ministers for an informal meeting.

Press contact

Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union

 

Date 23 April
Event

Informal meeting of EU environment ministers

Subject

The Portuguese EU Council presidency invites EU environment ministers for an informal meeting.

Press contact

Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union

 

Date 8 May
Event

Informal meeting of heads of state or government

Subject

The Portuguese EU Council presidency invites EU leaders to Porto for an informal meeting.

Press contact

Barendt Leyts, European Council, Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union

 

Date 24-25 June
Event European Council
Subject

This is one of four regular meetings of EU heads of state and government as the European Council.

Press contact Barendt Leyts, European Council

 

Date latest by June
Event European Commission presents draft legislation to increase 2030 target: "Fit for 55 Package"
Subject

Raising the 2030 climate target requires a set of actions across all sectors of the economy. Basically, all major energy and climate legislation will have to be amended and the Commission plans to present its proposals by June 2021. Pieces of legislation the Commission will review to implement this increased ambition include: the EU Emissions Trading System; the Effort Sharing Regulation; the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry Regulation; the Energy Efficiency Directive; the Renewable Energy Directive; and the CO2 Emissions Performance Standards for Cars and Vans Regulation, as well as the planned carbon border adjustment mechanism Find more details here. As part of this process, the Commission will review impacts at the level of member states and consider distribution-related issues. An important consideration in this context will be how revenues from carbon pricing are distributed between member states and the EU as own resources.

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date 1st and 2nd quarter 2021
Event European Commission presents policy plans and legislation drafts on biodiversity
Subject

The Commission aims to present an action plan for the development of organis production, a zero pollution action plan for water, air and soil, and a legislation draft on minimising the risk of deforestation and forest degradation associated with products placed on the EU market.

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date 2nd quarter 2021
Event European Commission presents sustainable finance legislation
Subject

The Commission aims to establish a green bond standard. Later, planned for the fourth quarter, it will present plans to revise the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and Regulation.

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date Summer 2021 (date TBD)
Event UK host G7 summit
Subject

The UK will host the 47th summit of the Group of Seven (G7) major economies. The government has extended invitations also to India, Australia and South Korea to attend the summit, dubbed "D10" for ten democracies. As the UK also hosts the November UN climate conference COP26, the G7 offers the opportunity to already put a focus on climate policy.

Press contact UK govt

 

Date 3rd and 4th quarter 2021
Event European Commission presents proposals on sustainable and smart mobility
Subject

The Commission aims to present a proposal to revise the Directive on Intelligent Transport Systems, including a multimodal ticketing initiative and the Regulation on the trans-European transport network (TEN-T), an EU 2021 Rail Corridor Initiative, and it wants to develop post-Euro 6/VI emission standards for cars, vans, lorries and buses.

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date 4th quarter 2021
Event European Commission presents further draft legislation from "Fit for 55 Package"
Subject

Raising the 2030 climate target requires a set of actions across all sectors of the economy. Basically, all major energy and climate legislation will have to be amended and the Commission plans to present most of its proposals by June 2021. Some proposals, however, will be put forth in the fourth quarter: a revision of the energy performance of Buildings Directive, and a revision of the Third Energy Package for gas to regulate competitive decarbonised gas markets.

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date 4th quarter 2021
Event European Commission presents draft legislation on circular economy
Subject

The European Commission is set to present legislation for its circular economy package. This includes a sustainable products policy initiative, including a revision of the Ecodesign Directive, and a proposal on circular electronics.

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date 14-15 October
Event European Council
Subject

This is one of four regular meetings of EU heads of state and government as the European Council.

Press contact Barendt Leyts, European Council

 

Date 1- 12 November
Event UN climate change conference COP 26
Subject  Many see the 2021 United Nations climate change conference COP26 in Glasgow as the most important COP (Conference of the Parties) since 2015, when the landmark Paris Agreement was adopted. COP26 has been postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thus, it will now take place after the ‘by 2020’ deadline for numerous components of the Paris Agreement, such as delivering updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs). COPs are usually attended by national ministers and heads of state.
Press contact UNFCCC

 

Date 16-17 December
Event European Council
Subject

This is one of four regular meetings of EU heads of state and government as the European Council.

Press contact Barendt Leyts, European Council
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