05 Jan 2021, 12:58
Julian Wettengel

Many open questions on EU-UK energy relations after Brexit deal


Tagesspiegel Background

Future energy relations between the European Union and the UK remain somewhat uncertain after the post-Brexit trade agreement reached over the holidays delegated many decisions to expert groups, reports Christian Schaudwet in Tagesspiegel Background. Sixteen of the document’s 1449 pages deal with the energy and resource sector and stipulate goals such as supply security, renewables expansion and climate neutrality 2050, but many details remain open. No decision has been made yet on how power trading through the direct connections will work once an interim solution runs out, or on how the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) will be aligned with a future national system in the UK.

“Many issues have been passed on to committees without it being clear to me what political leeway to compromise they should be given,” Georg Zachmann of Brussels-based think tank Bruegel told Tagesspiegel. He also said that the future EU 2030 climate target will need to be woven into the trade agreement, which is based on the existing goal, and that a planned carbon border tax on both sides needs to be discussed.

Brexit will have important but uncertain impacts on European climate and energy policy at three levels: EU policy, international climate negotiations, and UK domestic policy, Brendan Moore of the University of East Anglia has told Clean Energy Wire. The extreme complexity of different approaches to climate governance “means that there is significant uncertainty about what this means for avoiding dangerous climate change,” he said.

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