22 Mar 2021, 14:05

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.

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.

Source: E3G

Climate and energy think tank E3G has published a timeline for the EU for 2021. You can find it for download here.

2021

 

Date Sometime in 2021 (tbc)
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 March/April 2021 (tbc)
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. Operator TenneT expects test runs to finish within the coming weeks and plans an official opening ceremony for the end of May.

The link 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. 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 23 March
Event 5th Ministerial on Climate Action (MoCA)
Subject

The European Commission co-convenes with China and Canada the annual meeting attended by ministers and high-level representatives from over 30 countries, including ministers from the G20 and chairs of key party groupings in the UN climate negotiations. The meetings provide a space for discussions on the implementation of the Paris Agreement through the promotion of ambitious climate action and the successful adoption of technical rules under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It is likely the last international climate meeting before the U.S. administration presents its new 2030 climate plans.

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

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, and thus also under the Portuguese EU Council presidency.

Press contact Barendt Leyts, European Council

 

Date 26 March (tbc)
Event

Trilogue on the EU climate law

Subject

The negotiations about key issues of the EU climate law - such as the 2030 target, an emissions budget to be considered for a 2040 climate target, and a climate change council - are ongoing and it is unclear whether they can be finalised any time soon. The European Parliament calls for a more ambitious 2030 target than the "at least 55% net target" member state leaders agreed last year. European Commissioner Frans Timmermans said negotiations should be concluded by April to give the Commission time to work out its climate legislation with the 2030 target (to be presented by June), and to have an agreement in time for the US climate summit on 22 April.

Press contact

Alexandra Carreira, Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union

 

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 Leaders' Climate Summit by U.S. administration
Subject

The United States has announced that it will convene a Leaders' Climate Summit on Earth Day to bring together leaders of major economies. The summit will be held on 22 April 2021, which is the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Paris Agreement on climate change for signature.

Press contact  White House

 

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

Alexandra Carreira, 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

Alexandra Carreira, Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union

 

Date 6-7 May
Event

Petersberg Climate Dialogue

Subject

The German government hosts the governments of key countries for the international Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin every year. The meeting is seen as an important stepping stone for climate diplomacy in the run up to COP26 in November.

Press contact

Stephan Gabriel Haufe, German environment ministry

 

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, Alexandra Carreira, Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union

 

Date 11-13 June
Event G7 in Cornwall, UK
Subject

As host of the UN climate change conference COP26 in Glasgow, the UK government has said it aims to address the issue also at the G7 summit it hosts in June.

Press contact UK govt

 

Date 21 June
Event Environment Council
Subject

One of several official meetings of EU member state environment ministers.

Press contact Johanna Store, European Council

 

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 6-15 July
Event UN high-level political forum on sustainable development
Subject

The high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF) is the core United Nations platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The HLPF in 2021 will discuss Sustainable Development Goals 1 on no poverty, 2 on zero hunger, 3 on good health and well-being, 8 on decent work and economic growth, 10 on reduced inequalities, 12 on responsible consumption and production, 13 on climate action, 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions, and 17 on partnerships in depth.

Press contact UN DESA

 

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 30-31 October
Event G20 summit in Rome, Italy
Subject

Right before COP26, co-organised by Italy, the G20 Heads of State and Government Summit will be held in Rome on October 30th and 31st 2021, with the participation of the G20 Heads of State and Government, of their counterparts from invited countries, and of the representatives of some of the main international and regional organizations. The Ministers of Economics and Finance traditionally also take part in the event. The Summit is the climax of the G20 process and the final stage, at Leaders’ level, of the intense work carried out within ministerial meetings, working groups and Engagement Groups throughout the year.

Press contact Govt Italy

 

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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