02 Feb 2023, 12:30

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 Czech Council presidency, and in the Council’s press calendar.

2023

 

Date 1 January
Event

Sweden takes over EU Council presidency

Subject

The Council represents the executive governments of member states, and the presidency rotates among EU member states every six months. It is not only responsible for setting policy priorities and planning and chairing meetings among ministers and heads of government, but must also try and reach agreement on laws with the EU’s other legislative bodies – the Commission and the Parliament. Member states holding the presidency work together closely in groups of three, called 'trios'. Preceding presidencies France and the Czech Republic cooperate with Sweden.

The Swedish priorities were presented on 14 December 2022: security, resilience, prosperity, democratic values and the rule of law. "A greener, more secure and freer Europe is the foundation of our priorities," said prime minister Ulf Kristersson. The Swedish presidency "will continue efforts to tackle high and volatile energy prices while addressing long-term energy market reform. [...] We will put Fit for 55 into action and speed up the energy transition," it says. The website of the presidency can be found here.

Politico reported that Sweden has a lot to manage during the six months. "With massive official bandwith having been taken up first by COVID and then by the war in Ukraine, the legislative timetable looks severely backed up, with some major policy packages yet to emerge."

Press contact  Press service at +46 8 405 50 50 or at press.se23@gov.se (contact list for individual ministers)

 

Date 30 January
Event

Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Subject

One of several regular annual meetings of agriculture ministers.

Press contact Alice Antoine-Grégoire, European Council

 

Date 9-10 February
Event Special European Council
Subject

EU leaders agreed to meet outside the regular schedule to debate migration, but also the EU reply to the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act. The Commission had presented its proposal for a Green Deal Industry Plan on 1 February, which leaders will debate.

Reuters reported that France wants the EU to adopt a "Made in Europe" industrial strategy. The French paper called for urgent measures in particular to retain Europe companies involved in solar panels, batteries, hydrogen and critical raw materials.

Press contact Barendt Leyts, European Council

 

Date 14 February
Event European Commission to present proposal on CO2 emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles
Subject

Following last year's landmark agreement to effectively ban the combustion engine in cars from 2035, the Commission plans to make proposals for CO2 emissions for heavy-duty vehicles. Bloomberg reported that the Netherlands is leading calls for the European Union to target zero emissions from heavy duty vehicles to bring the polluting sector in line with its climate neutrality goals.

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date 27-28 February
Event

Informal meeting of transport, energy ministers

Subject

The Swedish Council presidency invites ministers to discuss the future of energy and transport.

Press contact Mia Widell, Andia Gemsjö, Swedish government

 

Date 27-28 February
Event

Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Subject

One of several regular annual meetings of agriculture ministers.

Press contact Emma O’Driscoll, European Council

 

Date March, tbc
Event European Commission presents proposal on reform of the EU electricity market
Subject

In its work programme 2023, the Commission says: "We will propose a comprehensivereform of the EU electricity market in early 2023, including decoupling the effect of gas prices on electricity prices." The Commission will present a legislative proposal together with an impact assessment. It launched a public consulation on 23 January, asking stakeholders like governments and national regulators for their input. In it, it explains: "In the current crisis, the EU electricity market design has showed certain shortcomings. In spite of a growing share of renewables in the energy mix, consumers have faced unsustainably high electricity bills which are to a certain extent directly correlated to the price of fossil fuels, notably gas. [...] As the revenues of many generators with lower marginal costs such as renewables, nuclear are influenced by the short-term market prices determined by the marginal pricing system, as a result of the crisis, generators that have low production costs have benefited from unexpected surplus profits, while their minimum profitability has been often protected by public support."

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date 8 March
Event European Commission to present proposal for critical raw materials act, Net-Zero Industry Act (tbc)
Subject

In her 2022 State of the European Union address, European Commission President von der Leyen announced a critical raw materials act. "Lithium and rare earths are already replacing gas and oil at the heart of our economy. By 2030, our demand for those rare earth metals will increase fivefold," she said. However, China dominated as a supplier. "We have to avoid falling into the same dependency as with oil and gas. [...] We will identify strategic projects all along the supply chain, from extraction to refining, from processing to recycling. And we will build up strategic reserves where supply is at risk."

When presenting its Green Deal Industry Plan in early February, the Commission said it would propose both the critical raw materials act and a Net-Zero Industry Act before the EU leaders meeting in March.

Press contact Roberta Verbanac, European Commission

 

Date 16 March
Event

Environment Council

Subject

This is one of several regular meetings of EU environment ministers.

Press contact Johanna Store, European Council

 

Date 20-21 March
Event

Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Subject

One of several regular annual meetings of agriculture ministers.

Press contact Emma O’Driscoll, European Council

 

Date 22 March
Event European Commission to present proposal on misleading climate claims by companies
Subject

The Commission presents its "consumer package", which contains proposals on substantiating environmental claims companies make. Bloomberg saw a draft.

Clean Energy Wire has focussed on company climate claims in a large-scale reporting project. Companies across the globe have started a race to declare themselves and their products "climate neutral". Hardly a day passes without a firm announcing a net-zero target, or launching a product that is supposedly "climate neutral." Most claims still rely on questionable commitments to compensate continued emissions elsewhere on the planet, inviting accusations that this trend is nothing but greenwashing. But the decarbonisation drive of entire economies will inevitably result in firms no longer having any impact on the climate. Truly climate-neutral products will give individual consumers the power to speed up emission cuts. CLEW zooms in on the current flurry of company climate claims in a series of articles, interviews, factsheets, a webinar, and international collaborations.

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date 23-24 March
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 18-19 April
Event

Informal meeting of environment ministers

Subject

The Swedish Council presidency invites environment ministers.

Press contact Niki Westerberg, Swedish government

 

Date 24-25 April
Event

Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Subject

One of several regular annual meetings of agriculture ministers.

Press contact Emma O’Driscoll, European Council

 

Date 17 May
Event European Commission to present proposal on EU Hydrogen Bank
Subject

The Commission plans to jump-start the European hydrogen economy with the help of a Hydrogen Bank. Commissioner Timmermans in October: "A hydrogen bank should bring more funding but it should also de-risk the market in Europe, both for domestically produced and imported hydrogen. [...] The pilot phase of the Bank will start next year with a contracts-for-difference scheme under the Innovation Fund to support 100% of the cost gap in comparison to grey hydrogen produced in the EU." Experts have said that Europe must act as a true green electricity and hydrogen union to stand its ground in a competitive world that moves to climate neutrality.

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date 30 May
Event

Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Subject

One of several regular annual meetings of agriculture ministers.

Press contact Emma O’Driscoll, European Council

 

Date in June
Event EU to announce details on 1st green hydrogen auction
Subject

The Commission will launch in autumn 2023 a first auctionor competitive bid-for supporting the production of renewable hydrogen. Winners of this auction will receive a fixed premium for each kg of renewable hydrogen produced over a period of 10 years. Terms and conditions for this first pilot auction, with an indicative budget of EUR 800 million, will be announced in June 2023.

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date 1 June
Event

Transport Council

Subject

This is one of several regular meetings of EU transport ministers.

Press contact Dimosthenis Mammonas, European Council

 

Date 7 June
Event European Commission to present proposal on sustainable agri-food systems and use of resources
Subject

The Commission plans to make the following proposals: Soil Health Law, Regulation on plants produced by new genomic techniques, Revision of food waste and textiles aspects of the EU waste framework Directive, Revision of legislation on seeds and other plant and forest reproductive material.

Check out CLEW's dossier on the German situation: The wicked task of feeding 83 million in a climate-friendly way

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date 11-13 June
Event

Informal meeting of agriculture and fisheries ministers

Subject

The Swedish Council presidency invites ministers to Stockholm.

Press contact Swedish government

 

Date 19 June
Event

Energy Council

Subject

This is one of several regular meetings of EU energy ministers.

Press contact Johanna Store, European Council

 

Date 20 June
Event

Environment Council

Subject

This is one of several regular meetings of EU environment ministers.

Press contact Johanna Store, European Council

 

Date 21 June
Event European Commission to present proposal on greening transport
Subject

The Commission presents a "Greening transport" package and also a digital mobility package.

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date 29-30 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 30 June
Event Member States must send in their updated NECPs
Subject

In order to meet the EU’s energy and climate targets for 2030, Member States are required to have a 10-year National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) for the period from 2021 to 2030. By 30 June 2023, Member States will submit to the Commission draft updated NECPs. The Commission has published guidance to Member States on the process and scope of this update.

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date Q2 2023
Event European Commission presents proposals on greening freight transport
Subject

In its work programme 2023, the Commission says it aims to present a package on greening freight transport containing:

  1. International freight and passenger transport – increasing the share of rail traffic (legislative, incl. impact assessment)
  2. Revision of the weights and dimensions Directive (legislative, incl. impact assessment)
  3. Revision of the combined transport Directive (legislative, incl. impact assessment)
Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date Q3 2023
Event European Commission presents proposal on creating hydrogen bank
Subject

In its work programme 2023, the Commission says: "To help scale up our green hydrogen economy, we will create a new European Hydrogen Bank to invest EUR 3 billion into kick-starting a hydrogen market in EU, including through matching supply with demand." It will present a legislative proposal or a more general policy proposal on this.

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date Q3 2023
Event European Commission presents proposal on greening corporate fleets
Subject

In its work programme 2023, the Commission says it will present a legislative proposal or a more general policy proposal on greening corporate fleets.

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date Q3 2023
Event European Commission presents proposal on sustainable food systems
Subject

In its work programme 2023, the Commission says: "We will set up a comprehensive framework for sustainable food systems in the EU, to make sustainability central to all food-related policies." It will present a legislative proposal together with an impact assessment.

Press contact Tim McPhie, European Commission

 

Date 26-27 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 14-15 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

 

Date 2023
Event European Commission presents CCUS proposal
Subject

It didn't make it into the 2023 work programme, but energy Commissioner Kadri Simson has said the Commission aims to present "a Communication on a strategic vision" for carbon capture and use/storage (CCUS) in 2023. In the run-up, the Commissioner expects to publish a study to analyse an outline of the CO2 transport and storage infrastructure in 2030 and 2040 (early 2023) and an analysis of the regulatory environment (also early 2023).

Press contact Giulia Bedini, European Commission

 

 

2024

 

Date Q2 2024
Event European elections 2024
Subject

Every five years EU citizens choose who represents them in the European Parliament, the directly-elected institution in the EU decision-making process. In an elaborate process which involves member state governments, the parliament then votes to elect the European Commission -- the EU's executive body which is in charge of drawing up and presenting draft proposals to change EU legislation. 

The elections take place every five years and are the largest transnational elections in the world. By voting in the European elections, people living in the EU get to choose the 705 members that will represent them in the European Parliament until 2029.

Press contact Parliament’s press service.

 

 

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