German Science Academy urges speed and cooperation in Europe’s energy transition
Clean Energy Wire
Researchers at the German National Academy of Sciences have called on German and European governments to speed up efforts to transform the energy system to help reach climate targets, and to increase cooperation instead of resorting to protectionism. “The critical moment when Germany and Europe can create the conditions for achieving the Paris climate goals will soon have passed,” write the researchers in a discussion paper. Germany and the EU quickly have to “significantly strengthen and expand” their efforts and incentivise private investment through clear and reliable framework conditions, they write. The academy presents six guiding principles for the next phase of the transformation of the energy system and emphasises the need for greater European cooperation. “At the European level, climate action measures should resist protectionist policy and instead focus on deepening cooperation within the EU and with third countries,” they write. The focus should be to develop the Emissions Trading System (ETS) into a “uniform, transparent [system], which is sustainable in the long-term and encompasses all emissions.” The paper also says that the “second phase of climate action” — removing hard-to-avoid CO2 from the atmosphere — must start now, while the first phase — mitigation — was still ongoing.
While EU member states determine their own energy mix, the energy system can no longer be conceived in a national terms, experts say. Energy markets in Europe are becoming more and more integrated and interdependent physically, economically, and from a regulatory perspective. The European Union regulates vast parts of energy and climate policy which applies directly in the member states or must be translated into national laws. A key example is the “Fit for 55” legislative package, which the European Union is currently adopting to help the bloc reach its new target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030.