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Upcoming EU Presidents want RES Directive agreement by end 2008

09.07.2008

The recently-published EU Presidency priorities of France, the Czech Republic and Sweden emphasise the need for agreement on the RES Directive by the end of 2008.

The French, Czech and Swedish governments, which will each hold the rotating EU presidency over the next eighteen months, recently published a two-part document containing their priorities. The document is made up of a Strategic Framework and an Operational Programme.

Strategic Framework

The Strategic Framework insists on the need for agreement on the RES Directive by the end of 2008, and adoption in early 2009 at the latest.

It states that the Second Strategic Energy Review will be published by the Commission in autumn 2008 and endorsed by the 2009 spring Council. The EU’s Second Action Plan on Energy Policy for Europe will be based on the Energy Review, and will focus on energy security, competitiveness and environmental sustainability.

The Strategic Energy Review emphasises that the EU must maintain leadership on the UNFCCC and Kyoto agreement negotiations, in order to secure an “ambitious, global and comprehensive post-2012 agreement on climate change” at Copenhagen in 2009.

Operational Programme

In the Operational Programme, the Presidencies confirm their aim to achieve the 20% cuts in greenhouse gases and the 20% renewable energy targets. They state that they will “strive for a low-carbon economy that is consistent with both sustainability and cost efficiency”.

They also repeat the need to reach agreement on the RES Directive by the end of 2008 for adoption in early 2009, and that the Second Strategic Energy Review will be published by the Commission in autumn 2008 and endorsed by the 2009 spring Council. The Review will focus on enhancing security of energy supply, and the EU’s Second Action Plan on Energy Policy for Europe will then be based on it. The Action Plan will focus on energy security, competitiveness and environmental sustainability.

On Kyoto and climate change, the Presidencies aim to make progress in negotiations in order to reach agreement on an “ambitious, global and comprehensive international post-2012 climate regime consistent with the EU’s two degree objective in Copenhagen in December 2009”. They will strive for timely agreement on ETS revision, burden-sharing for greenhouse gas reduction, promotion of renewables and the regulatory framework for carbon capture and storage, which should be agreed by the end of 2008 and adopted in early 2009.

The three governments will try to remove tariffs and other barriers in order to help the global market in climate-friendly goods and services. They will carry forward the Energy Efficiency Action Plan, and help create and develop an international platform for cooperation on energy efficiency.

They wish to reach a final agreement on the third internal energy market package as swiftly as possible. That document says that “the three Presidencies consider the establishment of a competitive, efficient and interconnected internal energy market as beneficial both for private consumers and businesses”.

Finally, they state their desire to promote genuine energy security policy both internally and externally.

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