Commission calls for higher ambition from central and eastern Europe in energy and climate plans
For immediate release. Brussels, Prague – Ahead of Thursday’s European Council summit where the EU’s long-term climate targets will take centre stage, the Commission has released an assessment of Member States’ national energy and climate plans (NECPs) and is pressing countries of central and eastern Europe (CEE) to do more so that Europe can meet its 2050 net-zero emissions objective.
18 June 2019
EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action Miguel Arias Cañete at the press conference delivering the Commission's assessment of the NECPs
Bankwatch welcomes the Commission’s report, which rates the energy efficiency goals of all CEE countries as ‘modest’ to ‘very low,’ and all except Estonia as ‘below formula’ on renewable energy. The Commission is also expecting a more detailed assessment of the investment needs and funding sources for climate measures from most CEE countries
The Commission’s conclusions echo a Bankwatch analysis  that shows how CEE Member States rely overwhelmingly on unsustainable solutions like biomass  and waste incineration  to reduce their dependency on fossil fuels, instead of making the necessary investments in energy efficiency and small-scale, sustainable renewables.
Yet the Commission stops short of criticising the poor quality of public engagement during the formulation of the NECPs  and only in passing suggests consultation practices could be improved. Involving the public is a precondition for the proper planning and efficient implementation of the NECPs and a prerequisite to reaching the EU’s climate objectives.
Raphael Hanoteaux, EU policy coordinator with Bankwatch, said “Central and eastern European countries must create solid plans through meaningful public participation and by exploring every possibility to fund a more just energy transition. A surge in ambition is in their interest and absolutely necessary if the EU wants to achieve the 2050 net-zero objective that is awaiting approval at Thursday’s European Council.”
Juraj Melichar, Slovak campaigner with Bankwatch and Friends of the Earth-CEPA in Slovakia, said, “The energy and climate plans can be an effective tool to guide investments in local, renewable energy projects that benefit people and reflect local realities. Such investments should support local development instead of the polluting industries that benefit from business as usual.”
For more information contact:
EU policy officer
Email: raphaelh AT bankwatch.org
Telephone: +32 2 894 46 00
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